Permission Groups Discovery: Cloud Groups

Adversaries may attempt to find cloud groups and permission settings. The knowledge of cloud permission groups can help adversaries determine the particular roles of users and groups within an environment, as well as which users are associated with a particular group.

With authenticated access there are several tools that can be used to find permissions groups. The Get-MsolRole PowerShell cmdlet can be used to obtain roles and permissions groups for Exchange and Office 365 accounts [1][2].

Azure CLI (AZ CLI) and the Google Cloud Identity Provider API also provide interfaces to obtain permissions groups. The command az ad user get-member-groups will list groups associated to a user account for Azure while the API endpoint GET lists group resources available to a user for Google [3][4][5].

Adversaries may attempt to list ACLs for objects to determine the owner and other accounts with access to the object, for example, via the AWS GetBucketAcl API [6]. Using this information an adversary can target accounts with permissions to a given object or leverage accounts they have already compromised to access the object.

ID: T1069.003
Sub-technique of:  T1069
Tactic: Discovery
Platforms: Azure AD, Google Workspace, IaaS, Office 365, SaaS
Permissions Required: User
Contributors: Isif Ibrahima; Regina Elwell
Version: 1.3
Created: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 25 June 2021
Provided by LAYER 8


This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0015 Application Log Application Log Content
DS0017 Command Command Execution
DS0036 Group Group Enumeration
Group Metadata
DS0009 Process Process Creation

System and network discovery techniques normally occur throughout an operation as an adversary learns the environment. Data and events should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a chain of behavior that could lead to other activities, such as Lateral Movement, based on the information obtained.

Monitor processes and command-line arguments for actions that could be taken to gather system and network information. Activity and account logs for the cloud services can also be monitored for suspicious commands that are anomalous compared to a baseline of normal activity.