1.7 Eliminate use of the 'root' user for administrative and daily tasks (Automated)
• Level 1
With the creation of an AWS account, a 'root user' is created that cannot be disabled or deleted. That user has unrestricted access to and control over all resources in the AWS account. It is highly recommended that the use of this account be avoided for everyday tasks.
The 'root user' has unrestricted access to and control over all account resources. Use of it is inconsistent with the principles of least privilege and separation of duties, and can lead to unnecessary harm due to error or account compromise.
- Login to the AWS Management Console at
- In the left pane, click
- Click on
- Open of Save the file locally
- Locate the
<root account>under the user column
password_last_used, access_key_1_last_used_date, access_key_2_last_used_dateto determine when the 'root user' was last used.
From Command Line
Run the following CLI commands to provide a credential report for determining the last time the 'root user' was used:
aws iam generate-credential-report
aws iam get-credential-report --query 'Content' --output text | base64 -d | cut -d, -f1,5,11,16 | grep -B1 '<root_account>'
access_key_2_last_used_date to determine when the root user was last used.
There are a few conditions under which the use of the 'root' user account is required. Please see the reference links for all of the tasks that require use of the 'root' user.
If you find that the 'root' user account is being used for daily activity to include administrative tasks that do not require the 'root' user:
- Change the 'root' user password.
- Deactivate or delete any access keys associate with the 'root' user.
**Remember, anyone who has 'root' user credentials for your AWS account has unrestricted access to and control of all the resources in your account, including billing information.
The 'root' user for us-gov cloud regions is not enabled by default. However, on request to AWS support, they can enable the 'root' user and grant access only through access-keys (CLI, API methods) for us-gov cloud region. If the 'root' user for us-gov cloud regions is enabled, this recommendation is applicable.
Monitoring usage of the 'root' user can be accomplished by implementing recommendation 3.3 Ensure a log metric filter and alarm exist for usage of the 'root' user.