IAM user can execute a Privilege Escalation by using CreatePolicyVersion

Security & Compliance

If an IAM user can execute a privilege escalation by using CreatePolicyVersion, it means that the user is able to create new versions of policies that have more permissive permissions than the original policies. This could potentially allow the user to gain more privileges than they were originally assigned. For example, if the IAM user has permissions to create a new version of a policy that grants access to sensitive resources, they could create a new version of that policy with even more permissive permissions and then assign themselves those permissions.


To prevent this kind of privilege escalation, it is important to closely monitor IAM policies and permissions, and limit the ability of IAM users to create new policy versions or modify existing policies.

Some possible remediation steps for this issue include:

  1. Review all existing IAM policies and ensure that they are as restrictive as possible.
  2. Limit the ability of IAM users to create new policy versions or modify existing policies.
  3. Implement AWS Managed Policies, which are pre-configured policies that are designed to provide secure default settings for common use cases.
  4. Enable AWS CloudTrail to monitor IAM activity and detect any suspicious changes to policies or permissions.
  5. Regularly review IAM policies and permissions to ensure that they are up-to-date and aligned with business needs.

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.