IAM user can execute a Privilege Escalation by using inline UpdateLoginProfile

Security & Compliance
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When an IAM user has inline access to the UpdateLoginProfile permission, they can modify the password and access keys of any other IAM user in the account, which could lead to privilege escalation. This permission allows a user to change their own password and access keys, but when granted to another user, it can potentially be used to elevate privileges and gain unauthorized access to resources. An attacker who gains access to a user's credentials with this permission could modify the login profile of an administrative user and take over their account. This can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive data or even complete control over the AWS account.‍


When an IAM user has the ability to execute privilege escalation by using inline UpdateLoginProfile permission, it means that they can modify the password for another user, potentially granting themselves or other unauthorized users access to that account. Here are some steps to remediate this issue:

  1. Review and update IAM policies: Review all IAM policies and remove inline policies that grant users the UpdateLoginProfile permission. Instead, create custom policies that grant access only to the necessary resources.
  2. Enforce least privilege: Limit the scope of IAM users' permissions to only what is necessary for them to perform their job responsibilities. Avoid granting users broad permissions or access to more resources than they need.
  3. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA): Require users to use MFA to authenticate to their accounts. This helps prevent unauthorized access, even if an attacker manages to obtain a user's password.
  4. Regularly rotate passwords: Encourage users to regularly change their passwords and enforce a policy that requires password changes at regular intervals.
  5. Monitor and review IAM activity: Regularly review IAM activity logs to identify any suspicious behavior, such as users accessing resources they don't normally use or attempting to escalate privileges.
  6. Educate users: Educate all IAM users on the risks of privilege escalation and the importance of securing their account credentials. Encourage users to report any suspicious activity or suspected security incidents to the appropriate security team or contact.
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.