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T1098.001 Additional Cloud Credentials

Adversaries may add adversary-controlled credentials to a cloud account to maintain persistent access to victim accounts and instances within the environment.

For example, adversaries may add credentials for Service Principals and Applications in addition to existing legitimate credentials in Azure AD.765 These credentials include both x509 keys and passwords.7 With sufficient permissions, there are a variety of ways to add credentials including the Azure Portal, Azure command line interface, and Azure or Az PowerShell modules.3

In infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) environments, after gaining access through Cloud Accounts, adversaries may generate or import their own SSH keys using either the CreateKeyPair or ImportKeyPair API in AWS or the gcloud compute os-login ssh-keys add command in GCP.4 This allows persistent access to instances within the cloud environment without further usage of the compromised cloud accounts.28

Adversaries may also use the CreateAccessKey API in AWS or the gcloud iam service-accounts keys create command in GCP to add access keys to an account. If the target account has different permissions from the requesting account, the adversary may also be able to escalate their privileges in the environment (i.e. Cloud Accounts).9

In AWS environments, adversaries with the appropriate permissions may also use the sts:GetFederationToken API call to create a temporary set of credentials tied to the permissions of the original user account. These credentials may remain valid for the duration of their lifetime even if the original account’s API credentials are deactivated. 1

Item Value
ID T1098.001
Sub-techniques T1098.001, T1098.002, T1098.003, T1098.004, T1098.005
Tactics TA0003
Platforms Azure AD, IaaS, SaaS
Version 2.5
Created 19 January 2020
Last Modified 04 May 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
C0024 SolarWinds Compromise During the SolarWinds Compromise, APT29 added credentials to OAuth Applications and Service Principals.1110


ID Mitigation Description
M1032 Multi-factor Authentication Use multi-factor authentication for user and privileged accounts. Consider enforcing multi-factor authentication for the CreateKeyPair and ImportKeyPair API calls through IAM policies.2
M1030 Network Segmentation Configure access controls and firewalls to limit access to critical systems and domain controllers. Most cloud environments support separate virtual private cloud (VPC) instances that enable further segmentation of cloud systems.
M1026 Privileged Account Management Do not allow domain administrator or root accounts to be used for day-to-day operations that may expose them to potential adversaries on unprivileged systems.
M1018 User Account Management Ensure that low-privileged user accounts do not have permission to add access keys to accounts. In AWS environments, prohibit users from calling the sts:GetFederationToken API unless explicitly required.1


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0002 User Account User Account Modification