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  • Raji Krishnamoorthy

Tracking down Trouble with AWS CloudTrail

The final class of the day was about to start at Emerald Springs school, Ooty and the students of Grade 2-C were noticeably less enthusiastic than usual. Typically, this time was reserved for their favorite activities, but today being Tuesday, the children have Geography on the timetable. Just then, Nirmala Mam, their class teacher, entered the room with an unexpectedly bright smile and a spark in her eyes. Sensing the need to lift the spirits of her young students, she decided it was the perfect moment to share the exciting news about the day trip.

Nirmala mam: "And oh! Don't forget to bring ₹1,000 for our excursion on Friday. It's important, so let's all remember!"

The kids couldn’t control their excitement after Nirmala mam’s departure. Each one was sharing their plan, detailing the essential items to pack and reminders of what not to forget for the trip.

On their ride back home to Emerald Springs, Meenu and Rahul were bubbling over with ideas. They opened their notepad and started writing down all the fantastic things they could do on their trip.

Next day morning, Meenu and Rahul got ready for their school. Their school bus stops near the ivy-covered of the Emerald Green’s IN gate, pausing exactly for 3 mins. Punctuality is key, as Mani anna, their trusty school bus driver, sticks to a strict schedule.

Meenu was already at the bus stop, right on time at 6:45 AM. She heard some fast, thumping footsteps. Who could that be? It was Rahul, huffing and puffing like a steam engine – he made it on time! Meenu was surprised; Rahul is usually late. She wondered, "If Rahul has arrived before the bus, I bet he has forgotten something”. Her curiosity arouse, little did she know that this was just the beginning of a day filled with surprises. With a mischievous smirk played on her face, she began to inquire…

Without another word, Rahul spun around and bolted back towards his house, kick starting his steam engine again.

As he dashed away, he glanced back at Meenu and yelled :

Meanwhile, the bus arrived. Meenu and other kids got into the bus. Meenu, usually one of the first to board, found herself at the end of the line today. As she climbed the steps, she leaned in to speak to Mani Uncle, her voice tinged with urgency.

Meenu : “Mani uncle, Rahul forgot his excursion money. Please uncle, wait for few more seconds.”

Just as driver Mani was about to respond, Rahul appeared, racing towards the bus.

Both children found their seats on the bus. From behind, their friend Rohan goes ..

Rohan : “Great!! I too have some extra money. Let’s go to the canteen before going to class."

The bus entered their school premises and came to a halt.

With that, Meenu headed off to her classroom, while the boys made their way to the canteen.

The first class bell rings and it’s the class teacher Nirmala mam’s subject – English Literature.

Nirmala Ma'am stepped into the classroom, her presence filling the room like a stern disciplinarian.

"Good morning, children!" she greeted.

"Good morning, Ma'am!" the kids chorused, their voices filled with respect.

The teacher opened the attendance register.

She began, her eyes scanning the register as she called out names in alphabetical order. "Arjun... Charu... Meenu..." And then she reached Rahul's name.

Meanwhile Rahul’s face turns pale and worried, almost ready to burst into tears. His eyes wide with a mix of panic and regret. He walks towards the teacher’s desk.

Rahul : Mam, I got the excursion money in my wallet but I can’t find it now.

Nirmala mam : Oh, Rahul, don't worry. Your wallet must be around here somewhere. Just be sure to give me the money before you head home today.

Rahul is nervous and in panic. Meenu notices Rahul’s face and she appears worried too. She knew something had to be done.

During lunch break, Meenu approaches Rahul who was frantically rifling through his backpack his school bag.

Meenu : Rahul.. Rahul ..

Rahul is oblivious to any sound and is deeply engraved in his search.

Meenu: "Alright, take a deep breath, Rahul. Let's not jump to conclusions. First, let's check in the Security office; maybe Mani Uncle handed it over there. You never know, it might have tumbled out when you were getting off the bus."

Meenu: "Hold on a second! Are you sure you put it back in your bag? Sit down and walk me through. What exactly happened from the moment you entered the canteen until you got to class?"

Meenu: "Go on..."

Meenu : Ok, so it is canteen to basket ball court to assembly hall to classroom.

Rahul : "Yes, but how does that help? My wallet is still missing!"

Meenu : Rahul, now that we know the places you visited. retrace your steps and ask around at each of these places. I'm pretty sure your wallet is waiting to be found."

Rahul: Let’s rush Meenu.

With the clock ticking and their hearts pounding like drumbeats, Meenu and Rahul dashed to the canteen first. They interrogated the canteen manager, their eyes scanning every nook and corner. Nothing.

Next, they sprinted to the basketball court, their shoes squeaking against the polished floor. Even after grilling the coach and scanning the area, they came up empty-handed.

Finally, they bolted to the assembly hall and confronted the security guard.

Meenu : Uncle, did you see any wallet?

Security Guard : You kids! Every day it's water bottles, rulers, pencil boxes—you name it. Check the lost and found office upstairs; I dropped off today's collection there.

Hearing this, Meenu and Rahul exchanged a glance, their faces flushed but filled with a renewed sense of hope. They raced towards the lost and found room.

Upon reaching the lost and found office, they found Rebecca Akka perched on a table, serving as the guardian of a cupboard that looked like a dump yard of misplaced belongings. And there it was—Rahul's wallet— safely secured in a box, waiting for its owner to claim it.

Rahul found his wallet but he was all the more happy to find his lost basketball.

Rebekka akka opened a register and asked Rahul to write his name, section and his parent’s phone number. Rahul was rejoicing as he wrote his details. He got not one but two of his valuable possessions.

As they were walking towards their classroom,

Meenu, smiling like she'd just solved a complex puzzle, responded, “I just did what CloudTrail from AWS cloud does.”

Meenu: Look, You gave me a chronological account of where you went and what you did. It's like checking CloudTrail logs to find what, how and when actions were performed by a user or by any entity. In real-world scenarios, especially in cybersecurity, these logs are gold when you're investigating unexpected incidents.

Rahul : Wow. CloudTrail is the one that tracks the trail we leave in the cloud. Am sure it has more use cases than I could imagine.

The kids quickly gobbled up their lunch and settled down in their classroom, keenly aware of the ticking clock. While they were waiting for their mathematics teacher, Rahul had a question.

With a laugh and a newfound sense of camaraderie, they started working out their new arithmetic sum written by David Sir on the board.

Sarah has 10 apples. She buys 5 more apples on Monday and another 7 apples on Tuesday. She then gives 4 apples to her friend. Her mother asked Sarah to equally divide the apples with her little brother. How many apples will Sarah and her brother get?

David Sir : Children, you have exactly 3 minutes to solve this problem, after which I will randomly select one of you to answer.

After 3 minutes ..

David Sir : Ramu, what is the answer?

Ramu stood up confidently and answered,

Ramu : Sir, answer is 7 Sir.

David Sir: What? Come up to the board and show us how you got 7

Ramu walks to the board and solves his sum.

David Sir : Now, check each step. Where do you think, you have gone wrong?

Ramu : Ah.. On the 3rd step. I got it..

David Sir : Well spotted, Ramu! Go back to your seat.

While Ramu was walking back to his desk, David Sir continued, “You saw children… writing down each step helps.”

Ramu suddenly turned back and exclaimed,

The classroom burst into giggles and chuckles.

“I don’t know, what and where your CloudTrail is..”, said, David Sir and he added, “Hope your 'CloudTrails' don't get cloudy during the exams!"

The children erupted in laughter, lightening the atmosphere, and turning the moment into a fun learning experience.

** The graphics in this story are generated by DALL-E

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