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In hopes of preventing more customers from inadvertently releasing their secrets onto the internet, Amazon Web Services introduced a new feature for its cloud storage service that lets customers block public access to their storage buckets.

The new feature, Amazon S3 Block Public Access, gives AWS administrators additional controls over how manage access to their S3 storage buckets, which is AWS’s term for a cloud storage unit. While S3 buckets are locked by default, lots of cloud users want to allow temporary or permanent access to their storage buckets to trusted vendors, partners, or employees to collaborate on ongoing projects and exchange data.

However, several times over the last few years those users have accidentally allowed everyone to access their buckets, and that can cause problems. AWS has now rolled out several features to help administrators managing larger and larger numbers of buckets understand if they’ve left buckets open that they shouldn’t have.

When enabled, the Amazon S3 Block Public Access features will let administrators prevent anyone with access to their account from creating public buckets, and it can also revoke public access to older buckets at the account level. It will also prevent people from accidentally choosing “public” on a list of authorized users to that account’s storage buckets, which has caused a lot of the issues.

S3 was one of the first things AWS ever rolled out way back in 2006. Now that the cloud has expanded far beyond its early adopters, judging by the thousands that will pack several venues in Las Vegas for AWS re:Invent in two weeks, it seems like AWS is paying closer attention to the user interfaces it presents to those customers.

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