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How to Find Old AWS EC2 Instances

Having old instances within your AWS account could increase the risk of having vulnerable software.


This security check is part of the CIS Amazon Web Services Benchmarks and is rated severity low.


This guide assumes that you have already installed and configured Fix Inventory to collect your AWS resources.


  1. Execute the following search command in Fix Inventory Shell:

    > search is(aws_ec2_instance) and instance_status=running and age>180d
    ​kind=aws_ec2_instance, ..., region=fixinventory-poweruser
    ​kind=aws_ec2_instance, ..., account=poweruser-team
  2. Pipe the search command into the dump command:

    > search is(aws_ec2_instance) and instance_status=running and age>180d | dump
    ​ id: /aws/ec2/123
    ​ name: some-name
    ​ ctime: '2022-12-05T22:53:14Z'
    ​ kind: aws_ec2_instance
    ​ age: 2mo28d

    The command output will list the details of all non-compliant aws_ec2_instance resources.


  • Check if software running in the instance is up-to-date and patched accordingly.
  • Consider migrating to an updated instance type.

Please refer to the AWS EC2 documentation for details.

Further Reading