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In this post we’ll take a look at a feature of Azure Security Center called Just-In-Time VM access. This feature will allow you to timebox when and who has access to your Azure VMs. Black Hats will invariably look for open management ports on your VMs. RDP and SSH are often used by hackers as a possible entry point for access to your environment. Using JIT Access you can block access to these ports and require users to submit a request in order to gain access during a specific timeframe.

Problem

The problem is simple enough… how do you limit access to your VMs so that only users you permit have access to your VMs and only during a time that you allow? This is accomplished by configuring some rules on the NSG and/or Azure Firewall that protect your VM’s access until a request and a timeframe for access are approved. The great thing about this is that Azure has wrapped this functionality up into a service called Just-In-Time Access and you can activate it today.

Solution

Azure Security Center Just-In-Time Access is a great solution to solve this problem with only one downside… It’s currently not supported in the Azure CLI or by Terraform. As of late December 2020 there is work underway in the Terraform project to support JIT but not yet available. I haven’t seen any timeline of when it will be added to the CLI but I suspect it will come sometime in 2021. In the meantime I’ve written a script that uses the Azure REST API to activate JIT for Azure VMs. Of course you can also use the Azure Portal or Powershell to the same effect but I typically like to do as much as possible from Bash

This script takes -n (name of VM) and -g (resource group VM lives in) as it’s only parameters. It will then suss out that subscription you are running in and use the location that the VM lives in to complete it’s necessary input. It also relies on have the az cli available for the REST call it makes. You’ll also notice from the script that it only includes rules for 22 and 3389. If there are other ports you need to provide access to you’ll need to modify the script to support those ports.


>>az-jit-access -n lin-30400 -g RG-32698 

Check program requirements...
 * Found az

RG:               RG-32698
VM_NAME:          lin-30400

Are you sure you want to Proceed and enable JIT Access [y/N]?y

{
  "id": "/subscriptions/XXXXXXXXX/resourceGroups/RG-32698/providers/Microsoft.Security/locations/eastus/jitNetworkAccessPolicies/default",
  "kind": "Basic",
  "location": "eastus2",
  "name": "default",
  "properties": {
    "appendMode": false,
    "provisioningState": "Updating",
    "requests": [],
    "virtualMachines": [
      {
        "id": "/subscriptions/XXXXXXXX/resourceGroups/RG-32698/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/lin-30400",
        "ports": [
          {
            "allowedSourceAddressPrefix": "*",
            "maxRequestAccessDuration": "PT3H",
            "number": 22,
            "protocol": "*"
          },
          {
            "allowedSourceAddressPrefix": "*",
            "maxRequestAccessDuration": "PT3H",
            "number": 3389,
            "protocol": "*"
          }
        ],
        "resourceGroup": "RG-32698"
      }
    ]
  },
  "resourceGroup": "RG-32698",
  "type": "Microsoft.Security/locations/jitNetworkAccessPolicies"
}