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Amazon Web Services – Restricting S3 Access Only From CloudFront

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  • Last Updated : 18 Jul, 2021
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In this article, we will look into how to restrict access to Simple Storage Service (S3) from CloudFront only. When developers are using S3 REST API  endpoint as the origin to CloudFront, they can restrict access to S3 from CloudFront only by setting up the Origin Access Identity(OAI). This is a special CloudFront user, which they will associate with the distribution.

Users can then add permissions on the S3 bucket, or the objects in an S3 bucket,  to allow access only to this origin access identity. When the user accesses the S3 object through CloudFront, the origin access identity gets the object on behalf of the users. If the users try to access the S3 URL directly, their access is denied.

This makes sure that the client can access objects in the S3 bucket but only by CloudFront. This is an additional layer of security and customers can control traffic by integrating WAF with CloudFront to secure their websites.

To create a closure on Origin access identity using the CloudFront console follow the below steps:

Step 1: Login to the AWS management console and go to CloudFront console:

Step 2: Select the distribution ID you want to add origin access identity 


Step 3: Then change to Edit mode and choose the Origins tab and then select the S3 origin that you want to edit.

Step 4: For Restrict Bucket Access click Yes, if you already have OAI you can choose the existing identity or you can create a new one. Here we will be choosing the existing identity, then to have CloudFront automatically update the origin access identity permission to read the objects in the S3 bucket specified in the origin domain name choose Yes, Update Bucket Policy and then click Yes, Edit.

Step 5: Now we can check if the bucket policy’s updated in the S3 bucket. To do that open S3 console in a new tab, click the S3 bucket, which is the origin of the CloudFront distribution.

Step 6: Select the permissions tab and choose bucket policy. The bucket policy is set to allow access to origin access identity associated with the CloudFront distribution.

Now if we try accessing the S3 object by directly accessing the S3 URL,  we can see there is an access denied error so the user will have access to the S3 object by only CloudFront.

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