If you spend a moderate amount of time creating and modifying AWS security groups, you will inevitably encounter the “Error deleting security group sg-12345678: resource sg-12345678 has a dependent object” error message.
Trying to find the security group that includes the group you want to delete can be an exercise in futility in the console. Instead, I make use of the CLI. I dumped all of my security groups into a text file:
aws ec2 describe-security-groups > securitygroups.txt
From there, I opened the securitygroups.txt file in vim and searched for sg-12345678. One entry is for the security group itself and all other matches are for security groups that include the group I want to delete.
It’s also possible that the group is attached to a network interface. I found the solution for this situation here.