Who is That EC2 User?

Identity management is a difficult problem in the cloud, especially when it comes to sharing user accounts — an all too familiar (and problematic) practice today. Sharing accounts is very common on EC2, in particular, because EC2 instances come with a standard set of user accounts that a team can begin using immediately. Although it’s possible to create more user accounts, doing so is a resource-intensive task that is not a top priority for most operations personnel — and as a result, teams often end up sharing the default accounts.

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