How a single developer dropped AWS costs by 90%, then disappeared.

Maxime Topolov on 2022-12-29

NB: source (

It’s Christmas and I just finished my last audit of a SaaS client. His story is worth telling. It’s a story about greed, lies, and the beauty of hacking.

It’s a story about how this client cut his monthly AWS bill by 90.000 USD with help of a mysterious developer, which disappeared once his job was done.

Jhvm Aaaag Uw Masi. G rs jhz subvnnuajm pptntozzn.

What do these 12 programming languages say about you? Tell me what your favorite language is, and I’ll tell you who you

When, 6 months later, AWS costs sky-rocked again to around 120K$ a month, this client called me to help him understand what really happened.

And it was absolutely mindblowing!

By the way, if you need help with complex IT problems, ping me.

How a Ukrainian developer quaked the French government. A true story, that happened a few years ago to a

The Set

For NDA reasons, I can’t tell the client’s name or industry.

But it’s a SaaS company, providing a product in a very niche, industrial market. Their product can be described as an AI model using data from different third-party applications and provides some valuable predictions.

There are two important points that will play a big role in this story.

Data is spread across different third-party applications, without APIs (industrial machines) therefore my client created a Chrome extension that collects it (like an RPA) and sends it back to their AWS instances for ingestion.

The AI model is quite expensive to execute, resulting in high computing costs averaging around 100K$ a month.