Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Stack Overflow answers (like this), I often take screenshots which include Instance ID's belonging to me. Is it a bad idea to reveal these?

share|improve this question
As an aside, this article on the anatomy of an instance-id is quite interesting:… – Roberto Tyley Apr 2 '15 at 9:45

I do see times where AWS Support folks will reply to someone in the forums with "Can you post your instance ID?" and then they'll reply back with things like "yep, I see your instance is off, etc." I'd presume that it isn't something that non-AWS tech support can take advantage of and use against you, or their support staff would ask for it via a private message or similar, and would (hopefully) scrub anything from the forums that could harm/hack an instance.

Course, that's an educated assumption on my part, so take it as you will.

share|improve this answer
Agreed, if it were a security concern their techs wouldn't be asking for it in public. – ceejayoz Feb 3 '14 at 15:02

I agree - and the only way giving out your instance ID would be "bad" is if you gave someone AWS Access and Secret Keys or console permissions (IAM or Root) and manipulated your resources that way.

share|improve this answer

Making your AMI publicly available isn't going to give anyone easy access to your machine.

It's nowhere near as bad as handing over your private key, or the public IP address that ssh listens on.

Having said that, someone might be able to take advantage of a bug, or otherwise exploit AWS...starting with the AMI id.

I'm not suggest I know of any such exploits, or that they're very likely to happen, just that you need to make a judgement call on the risk vs effort of blurring out that data.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.