Playbook 6: CloudTrail Logging Issues


This playbook describes how to configure Dow Jones Hammer to address the issues with CloudTrail operation or log delivery in your accounts.

1. Issue Identification

Dow Jones Hammer checks the status of CloudTrail for the following triggers:

  • CloudTrail is not enabled for any region;
  • CloudTrail experiences problems with log delivery to S3 (permission denied);
  • CloudTrail experiences problems with log delivery to CloudWatch (permission denied).

When Dow Jones Hammer detects an issue, it writes the issue to the designated DynamoDB table.

According to the Dow Jones Hammer architecture, the issue identification functionality uses two Lambda functions. The table lists the Python modules that implement this functionality:

Designation Path
Initialization hammer/identification/lambdas/cloudtrails-issues-identification/
Identification hammer/identification/lambdas/cloudtrails-issues-identification/

2. Issue Reporting

You can configure automatic reporting of cases when Dow Jones Hammer identifies an issue of this type. Dow Jones Hammer supports integration with JIRA and Slack. These types of reporting are independent from one another and you can turn them on/off in the Dow Jones Hammer configuration.

Thus, in case you have turned on the reporting functionality for this issue and configured corresponding integrations, Dow Jones Hammer, as defined in the configuration, can:

  • raise a JIRA ticket and assign it to a specific person in your organization;
  • send the issue notification to the Slack channel or directly to a Slack user.

This Python module implements the issue reporting functionality:


3. Issue Remediation

In this specific case, automated remediation is not available.

4. Setup Instructions For This Issue

To configure the detection and reporting of this issue, you should edit the following sections of the Dow Jones Hammer configuration files:

4.1. The config.json File

The config.json file is the main configuration file for Dow Jones Hammer that is available at deployment/terraform/accounts/sample/config/config.json. To identify, report, and remediate issues of this type, you should add the following parameters in the cloudtrails section of the config.json file:

Parameter Name Description Default Value
enabled Toggles issue detection for this issue true
ddb.table_name Name of the DynamoDB table where Dow Jones Hammer will store the identified issues of this type hammer-cloudtrails
reporting Toggle Dow Jones Hammer reporting functionality for this issue type false

Sample config.json section:

"cloudtrails": {
    "enabled": "true",
    "ddb.table_name": "hammer-cloudtrails",
    "reporting": false,

4.2. The whitelist.json File

You can define exceptions to the general automatic remediation settings for specific AWS account regions. To configure such exceptions, you should edit the cloudtrails section of the whitelist.json configuration file as follows:

Parameter Key Parameter Value(s)
AWS Account ID AWS Account Regions

Sample whitelist.json section:

"cloudtrails": {
    "123456789012": ["eu-west-1", "us-east-2"]

4.3. The ticket_owners.json File

You should use the ticket_owners.json file to configure the integration of Dow Jones Hammer with JIRA and/or Slack for issue reporting purposes.

You can configure these parameters for specific AWS accounts and globally. Account-specific settings precede the global settings in the ticket_owners.json configuration file.

Check the following table for parameters:

Parameter Name Description Sample Value
jira_project The name of the JIRA project where Dow Jones Hammer will create the issue AWSSEC
jira_owner The name of the JIRA user to whom Dow Jones Hammer will assign the issue Support-Cloud
jira_parent_ticket The JIRA ticket to which Dow Jones Hammer will link the new ticket it creates AWSSEC-1234
slack_owner Name(s) of the Slack channels (prefixed by #) and/or Slack users that will receive issue reports from Dow Jones Hammer ["#devops-channel", "bob"]

Sample ticket_owners.json section:

Account-specific settings:

    "account": {
        "123456789012": {
            "jira_project": "",
            "jira_owner": "Support-Cloud",
            "jira_parent_ticket": "",
            "slack_owner": ""
    "jira_project": "AWSSEC",
    "jira_owner": "Support-General",
    "jira_parent_ticket": "AWSSEC-1234",
    "slack_owner": ["#devops-channel", "bob"]

5. Logging

Dow Jones Hammer uses CloudWatch Logs for logging purposes.

Dow Jones Hammer automatically sets up CloudWatch Log Groups and Log Streams for this issue when you deploy Dow Jones Hammer.

5.1. Issue Identification Logging

Dow Jones Hammer issue identification functionality uses two Lambda functions:

  • Initialization: this Lambda function selects slave accounts to check for this issue as designated in the Dow Jones Hammer configuration files and triggers the check.
  • Identification: this Lambda function identifies this issue for each account/region selected at the previous step.

You can see the logs for each of these Lambda functions in the following Log Groups:

Lambda Function CloudWatch Log Group Name
Initialization /aws/lambda/hammer-initiate-cloudtrails
Identification /aws/lambda/hammer-describe-cloudtrails

5.2. Issue Reporting/Remediation Logging

Dow Jones Hammer issue reporting/remediation functionality uses /aws/ec2/hammer-reporting-remediation CloudWatch Log Group for logging. The Log Group contains issue-specific Log Streams named as follows:

Designation CloudWatch Log Stream Name
Reporting reporting.create_cloudtrails_tickets
Remediation remediation.clean_cloudtrails

5.3. Slack Reports

In case you have enabled Dow Jones Hammer and Slack integration, Dow Jones Hammer sends notifications about issue identification and remediation to the designated Slack channel and/or recipient(s).

Check ticket_owners.json configuration for further guidance.

5.4. Using CloudWatch Logs for Dow Jones Hammer

To access Dow Jones Hammer logs, proceed as follows:

  1. Open AWS Management Console.
  2. Select CloudWatch service.
  3. Select Logs from the CloudWatch sidebar.
  4. Select the log group you want to explore. The log group will open.
  5. Select the log stream you want to explore.

Check CloudWatch Logs documentation for further guidance.

6. Issue specific details in DynamoDB

Dow Jones Hammer stores various issue specific details in DynamoDB as a map under issue_details key. You can use it to create your own reporting modules.

Key Type Description Example
delivery_errors map CloudTrails which have logging issues {"ARN": {"errors": {...}, "events": "All", "multi_region": true}}
disabled boolean Indicates whether CloudTrail logging is disabled or not false | true