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T1580 Cloud Infrastructure Discovery

An adversary may attempt to discover infrastructure and resources that are available within an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) environment. This includes compute service resources such as instances, virtual machines, and snapshots as well as resources of other services including the storage and database services.

Cloud providers offer methods such as APIs and commands issued through CLIs to serve information about infrastructure. For example, AWS provides a DescribeInstances API within the Amazon EC2 API that can return information about one or more instances within an account, the ListBuckets API that returns a list of all buckets owned by the authenticated sender of the request, the HeadBucket API to determine a bucket’s existence along with access permissions of the request sender, or the GetPublicAccessBlock API to retrieve access block configuration for a bucket.5632 Similarly, GCP’s Cloud SDK CLI provides the gcloud compute instances list command to list all Google Compute Engine instances in a project 7, and Azure’s CLI command az vm list lists details of virtual machines.9 In addition to API commands, adversaries can utilize open source tools to discover cloud storage infrastructure through Wordlist Scanning.10

An adversary may enumerate resources using a compromised user’s access keys to determine which are available to that user.1 The discovery of these available resources may help adversaries determine their next steps in the Cloud environment, such as establishing Persistence.8An adversary may also use this information to change the configuration to make the bucket publicly accessible, allowing data to be accessed without authentication. Adversaries have also may use infrastructure discovery APIs such as DescribeDBInstances to determine size, owner, permissions, and network ACLs of database resources. 4 Adversaries can use this information to determine the potential value of databases and discover the requirements to access them. Unlike in Cloud Service Discovery, this technique focuses on the discovery of components of the provided services rather than the services themselves.

Item Value
ID T1580
Tactics TA0007
Platforms IaaS
Version 1.3
Created 20 August 2020
Last Modified 20 April 2022


ID Mitigation Description
M1018 User Account Management Limit permissions to discover cloud infrastructure in accordance with least privilege. Organizations should limit the number of users within the organization with an IAM role that has administrative privileges, strive to reduce all permanent privileged role assignments, and conduct periodic entitlement reviews on IAM users, roles and policies.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0010 Cloud Storage Cloud Storage Enumeration
DS0030 Instance Instance Enumeration
DS0020 Snapshot Snapshot Enumeration
DS0034 Volume Volume Enumeration