AWS Suspect Privilege Escalation

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AWS Suspect Privilege Escalation


  • Credential was observed performing a set of unusual API requests that enumerate privileges, following which a modification of privileges was observed which may be indicative of a privilege escalation occurring within the environment.

Possible Root Causes

  • An attacker has attempted to escalate privileges within the environment.
  • An account misconfiguration has weakened IAM protections associated with resource authorizations.
  • A security service, administrator, or other automation completed these actions as part of normal environment operation.

Business Impact

  • Privilege escalation may indicate the presence of an adversary that is modifying permissions to progress towards an objective.
  • IT misconfigurations may act to increase the risk of impact to assets, data, or services.

Steps to Verify

  • Investigate the account context that made the change for other signs of malicious activity.
  • Validate that the modifications are authorized, given the purpose and policies governing this resource.
  • If review indicates possible malicious actions or high-risk configuration, revert configuration and disable credentials associated with this alert then perform a comprehensive investigation.