As some of you might have heard, last week the Australian Government announced that Australia is currently experiencing a sustained cyber attack from a "sophisticated State Actor" which is targeting all levels of Government, Universities, research establishments and businesses. The "State Actor" has not been named. Actually ... it isn't any of you guys, is it?

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Acting as a good citizen, tinged not a little with self-interest, I set about "hardening" our AWS servers. This involved ensuring everything was updated to the latest patches (which it was), increasing the encryption level of out VPN and making new images (AMI's) of all our servers. Almost immediately, three software packages which regularly contact licensing servers, either stopped working or warned they soon would. The most informative was Pervasive PSQL installed on the data-server. It announced that the hardware configuration had changed and, unless the installation was repaired, would stop working in 14 days. Backup Assist, which uses rsync to backup about 6Gb of data to a server on our premises each night in about 20 minutes (great product) just stopped while Cete software PDF Generator went into evaluation mode. I'm happy to say that we had new registrations for Backup assist the same day and from Cete which is in a very different time-zone, within 24 hours.

The takeaway from this is that backing up an AWS instance by making a new image (AMI) actually changes the hardware configuration of the existing instance (huh!). Snapshots, which we do regularly, do not.

Regards from our cyber-proof bunker,