Uncovering Lateral Movement Paths in Azure
In the sprawling metropolis of cloud environments, Azure shines as a central hub, teeming with a myriad of services. However, amidst this vast expanse, lurk unseen alleyways known as lateral movement or attack paths, which could be exploited by adversaries to traverse through the cloud undetected. For defenders and penetration testers, understanding these clandestine pathways is akin to possessing a map of hidden tunnels in a medieval city—a significant advantage in safeguarding the kingdom. Let’s embark on an exploratory quest to unravel these pathways and arm ourselves with the knowledge to fortify Azure’s defenses.
1. Azure VM to Azure Blob Storage
Tactic: Harnessing a compromised Azure VM’s Managed Identity to foray into Blob Storage.
MITRE ATT&CK: Valid Accounts: Token Manipulation (T1134)
- Token Extraction: Initially, a compromised VM’s Managed Identity token is akin to a golden key. Extracting this token from the VM gives the attacker a credential that can be used to authenticate to other Azure services.
- Blob Storage Access: With the token in hand, attackers can utilize the Azure SDK or Azure CLI to access Blob Storage, potentially discovering sensitive data or further avenues for lateral movement within the environment.
2. Azure Function to Cosmos DB
Tactic: Seizing hard-coded credentials or configuration flaws in Azure Functions as a leeway to Cosmos DB.
MITRE ATT&CK: Credentials in Files (T1552)
- Configuration Exploration: Infiltrating Azure Function configurations or code can unveil hard-coded credentials or connection strings to Cosmos DB. This misconfiguration is akin to leaving a treasure map unguarded.
- Database Manipulation: With the Cosmos DB connection string, attackers can access and manipulate data within Cosmos DB, possibly altering data to cause disruption, or extracting sensitive data for exfiltration.
3. Azure AD (Entra ID) to Azure Resources
Tactic: Exploiting over-permissive Azure AD (Entra ID) roles as a steppingstone to a trove of associated resources.
MITRE ATT&CK: Valid Accounts (T1078)
- Privilege Escalation: Within the realms of Entra ID, escalating privileges or exploiting existing over-permissive roles can forge a key to the kingdom’s treasures.
- Resource Access: Utilizing Entra ID as a launchpad, attackers can soar through associated resources like VMs, databases, or storage accounts, exploiting the trust relationships.
4. Azure Logic Apps to Azure SQL Database
Tactic: Manipulate misconfigured Logic Apps workflows interacting with SQL databases to extract data.
MITRE ATT&CK: Exploit Public-Facing Application (T1190)
- Workflow Alteration: Identifying misconfigured Logic Apps with weak triggers allows for workflow modification, diverting data to attacker-controlled endpoints.
- Data Extraction: Malicious workflow alterations can lead to data extraction, providing attackers with valuable information and further infiltrating the Azure environment.
5. Azure Key Vault to Azure Resources
Tactic: Access Key Vault to extract sensitive data facilitating further lateral movement.
MITRE ATT&CK: Credentials in Files (T1552)
- Key Vault Intrusion: Accessing Key Vault using compromised credentials or tokens opens a Pandora’s box of sensitive data, including API keys, database connection strings, or credentials.
- Resource Authentication: Utilizing the plundered secrets, attackers can authenticate and access other Azure services, expanding their foothold within the environment.
6. Azure Web Apps to Backend Services
Tactic: Exploit connections between Web Apps and backend services to extract or manipulate data.
MITRE ATT&CK: Server Software Component (T1505)
- Malicious Injection: Injecting malicious scripts or exploiting vulnerabilities within the web app can pave the way to backend services.
- Backend Exploitation: Traversing the connection to backend services, attackers can extract or manipulate data, causing disruption or gaining valuable intel.
7. Azure DevOps to Azure Resources
Tactic: Infiltrate Azure DevOps to deploy malicious payloads or extract credentials for other Azure resources.
MITRE ATT&CK: Use Alternate Authentication Material (T1550)
- DevOps Infiltration: Employing weak credentials or exploiting vulnerabilities to infiltrate Azure DevOps can provide a goldmine of deployment scripts or CI/CD configurations.
- Malicious Deployment: Utilizing deployment scripts or pipelines to deploy malicious payloads or extract credentials, attackers can further entrench themselves within the Azure ecosystem.
Strengthening Azure’s Security Posture
As we traverse the labyrinth of Azure’s lateral movement paths, the imperative to fortify the walls becomes evidently clear. By tightening the reins of permissions, meticulously configuring security settings, and employing a vigilant eye towards monitoring, organizations can transform Azure into a fortress, resilient against adversaries.
- Principle of Least Privilege: Adhering to the principle of least privilege minimizes the attack surface by ensuring that entities have only the permissions necessary to perform their tasks.
- Regular Auditing and Monitoring: Consistent auditing and real-time monitoring of Azure environments for suspicious activities can unveil attempted or successful unauthorized access, facilitating timely response.
- Penetration Testing: Regular penetration testing by skilled testers can unearth potential attack paths and vulnerabilities, providing insights on how to bolster security measures.
A Continuous Journey
The expedition through Azure’s lateral movement paths is an enlightening endeavor, yet the journey towards robust security is ceaseless. With ARGOS Cloud Security, visualize vulnerabilities, dissect attack paths, and grasp the blast radius of cloud threats in real-time. The voyage of proactive defense is just a click away. Embrace the foresight ARGOS provides and stay a stride ahead in cloud security.
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