IAM user can execute a Privilege Escalation by using AttachUserPolicy

Security & Compliance

IAM user can execute a Privilege Escalation by using AttachUserPolicy when an IAM user attaches an overly permissive policy to their own account or another user's account, which grants them access to resources they should not have access to. The user can then escalate their privileges to perform unauthorized actions on those resources, such as modifying or deleting them. This is considered a high severity issue as it can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive resources and compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the system.


The following are the remediation steps for an IAM user who can execute a Privilege Escalation by using AttachUserPolicy:

  1. Identify the user or users with inline policies attached that grant too many permissions.
  2. Review the policies to determine which permissions are too permissive.
  3. Create a new policy or modify the existing policy to remove the excessive permissions.
  4. Test the new or modified policy to ensure that it does not impact any critical services.
  5. Attach the modified policy to the IAM user.
  6. Monitor the user's activity to ensure that they are not using the privilege escalation technique.
  7. Consider implementing automated mechanisms to detect and remediate excessive permissions in IAM policies, such as using AWS IAM Access Analyzer to identify and remove over-permissive policies.
  8. Establish a policy for regular auditing of permissions and policies, including the removal of any unnecessary or excessive permissions.

Enforced Resources
Note: Remediation steps provided by Lightlytics are meant to be suggestions and guidelines only. It is crucial to thoroughly verify and test any remediation steps before applying them to production environments. Each organization's infrastructure and security needs may differ, and blindly applying suggested remediation steps without proper testing could potentially cause unforeseen issues or vulnerabilities. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you validate and customize any remediation steps to meet your organization's specific requirements and ensure that they align with your security policies and best practices.