Returns a set of temporary credentials for an AWS account or IAM user. The credentials consist of an access key ID, a secret access key, and a security token. Typically, you use GetSessionToken if you want to use MFA to protect programmatic calls to specific AWS APIs like Amazon EC2 StopInstances. MFA-enabled IAM users would need to call GetSessionToken and submit an MFA code that is associated with their MFA device. Using the temporary security credentials that are returned from the call, IAM users can then make programmatic calls to APIs that require MFA authentication. If you do not supply a correct MFA code, then the API returns an access denied error. For a comparison of GetSessionToken with the other APIs that produce temporary credentials, see Requesting Temporary Security Credentials ( and Comparing the AWS STS APIs ( in the IAM User Guide.

The GetSessionToken action must be called by using the long-term AWS security credentials of the AWS account or an IAM user. Credentials that are created by IAM users are valid for the duration that you specify, from 900 seconds (15 minutes) up to a maximum of 129600 seconds (36 hours), with a default of 43200 seconds (12 hours); credentials that are created by using account credentials can range from 900 seconds (15 minutes) up to a maximum of 3600 seconds (1 hour), with a default of 1 hour.

The temporary security credentials created by GetSessionToken can be used to make API calls to any AWS service with the following exceptions:

You cannot call any IAM APIs unless MFA authentication information is

included in the request.

You cannot call any STS API except AssumeRole.

 We recommend that you do not call GetSessionToken with root account credentials.

Instead, follow our best practices ( by creating one or more IAM users, giving them the necessary permissions, and using IAM users for everyday interaction with AWS.

The permissions associated with the temporary security credentials returned

by GetSessionToken are based on the permissions associated with account or IAM user whose credentials are used to call the action. If GetSessionToken is called using root account credentials, the temporary credentials have root account permissions. Similarly, if GetSessionToken is called using the credentials of an IAM user, the temporary credentials have the same permissions as the IAM user.

For more information about using GetSessionToken to create temporary credentials, go to Temporary Credentials for Users in Untrusted Environments ( in the IAM User Guide.

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