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InSpec - No AWS Credentials Available


I've used InSpec in the past, but it's been some time. I was recently again evaluating it for my current company when I ran into a situation.

I set up an IAM user with the necessary permissions in order to test out InSpec for a proof of concept and added the profile to my ~/.aws/credentials. I knew the credentials were right because I could test what I wanted with the AWS CLI and get a successful response.

$ aws iam list-mfa-devices --user-name test-user --profile inspec
"MFADevices": [
"UserName": "test-user",
"SerialNumber": "arn:aws:iam::12345:mfa/test-user",
"EnableDate": "2020-01-02T18:41:22Z"

So, why then, would InSpec tell me that it couldn't find my AWS credentials for the inspec profile when running a simple control?

title 'AWS IAM compliance'

control 'iam-1.0' do
impact 1.0
title 'Check test-user user has MFA'
desc 'The test-user user should have MFA enabled'
describe aws_iam_user(user_name: 'test-user') do
it { should have_mfa_enabled }

AWS credentials are available InSpec!

$ inspec exec aws -t aws://us-east-1/inspec
[2021-01-03T19:25:55-07:00] ERROR: It appears that you have not set your AWS credentials. See for details.

Profile: AWS InSpec Profile (aws)
Version: 0.1.0
Target: aws://us-east-1

× iam-1.0: Check test-user user has MFA
× AWS IAM User
No AWS credentials available

Profile: Amazon Web Services Resource Pack (inspec-aws)
Version: 1.33.0
Target: aws://us-east-1

No tests executed.

Profile Summary: 0 successful controls, 1 control failure, 0 controls skipped
Test Summary: 0 successful, 1 failure, 0 skipped

Was I running the correct command to execute my controls? Was I somehow passing my profile to InSpec incorrectly? What was going on?

After some time frustratingly testing numerous different theories, I had another closer look at my ~/.aws/credentials and noticed that some of my profiles, including my inspec profile, looked slightly different than others.

aws_access_key_id = abcd1234
aws_secret_access_key = abcd1234
region = us-east-1

aws_access_key_id = abcd1234
aws_secret_access_key = abcd1234
region = us-east-1

AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID = abcd1234
region = us-east-1

That can't be it, can it? Is it?

Well it turned out that it was. InSpec was not be able to read my inspec profile credentials because AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY were capitalized in my credentials file, because this is how the Ruby AWS SDK works. I copied and pasted from another profile, which I don't recall why I made the keys capitalized, and InSpec couldn't handle it. After changing the keys to aws_access_key_id and aws_secret_access_key, InSpec found my credentials and I was able to run my controls.

So, if you're having trouble with InSpec telling you No AWS credentials available or that It appears that you have not set your AWS credentials, check your credentials file and make sure your capitalization is correct.