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Cloud Users Permission Settings Opens Up For Larger Attack Surface


Cloud Users Permission Settings Opens Up For Larger Attack Surface.

Unit 42 researchers did analyze over 680,000 identities across 18,000 cloud accounts from 200 different organizations and found that 99% of these cloud users, roles and service accounts were overly permissive. You can read the report here.

Setting excessive permissions unnecessarily open up a much larger attack surface for hackers and increases the risk of privilege escalation. You should look over your settings to help prevent adversaries exploiting these permissions to escalate to more privileged roles.

The security researchers has developed an open source tool to help mitigate the privilege escalation risks of overly permissive identities in AWS.

The software IAM-Deescalate, can be downloaded for free from GitHub.

License: MIT

IAM-Deescalate software:

What this tool does first is to identify the users and roles with privilege escalation risks using PMapper.

For each risky principal, IAM-Deescalate calculates a minimal set of permissions granted to this principal that can be revoked to eliminate the risks.

IAM-Deescalate inserts an inline policy to explicitly deny the risky permissions that could allow the principal to escalate to administrator privilege.

IAM-Deescalate can remediate all the privilege escalation risks that PMapper identifies.

Needed permissions to use IAM-Deescalate:

Because IAM-Deescalate needs to check and modify identity-based policies, it is intended to be used by authorized users with sufficient IAM permissions.

Read this document here.

For more information on how to use this software and a more in depth knowledge about the problem and how to remediate all the privilege escalation risks, visit Unit42 blog.


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