Modify Cloud Compute Infrastructure

An adversary may attempt to modify a cloud account's compute service infrastructure to evade defenses. A modification to the compute service infrastructure can include the creation, deletion, or modification of one or more components such as compute instances, virtual machines, and snapshots.

Permissions gained from the modification of infrastructure components may bypass restrictions that prevent access to existing infrastructure. Modifying infrastructure components may also allow an adversary to evade detection and remove evidence of their presence.[1]

ID: T1578
Sub-techniques:  T1578.001, T1578.002, T1578.003, T1578.004
Tactic: Defense Evasion
Platforms: IaaS
Permissions Required: User
Version: 1.1
Created: 30 August 2019
Last Modified: 20 April 2021


ID Mitigation Description
M1047 Audit

Routinely monitor user permissions to ensure only the expected users have the capability to modify cloud compute infrastructure components.

M1018 User Account Management

Limit permissions for creating, deleting, and otherwise altering compute components in accordance with least privilege. Organizations should limit the number of users within the organization with an IAM role that has administrative privileges, strive to reduce all permanent privileged role assignments, and conduct periodic entitlement reviews on IAM users, roles and policies.[1]


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0030 Instance Instance Creation
Instance Deletion
Instance Metadata
Instance Modification
Instance Start
Instance Stop
DS0020 Snapshot Snapshot Creation
Snapshot Deletion
Snapshot Metadata
Snapshot Modification
DS0034 Volume Volume Creation
Volume Deletion
Volume Metadata
Volume Modification

Establish centralized logging for the activity of cloud compute infrastructure components. Monitor for suspicious sequences of events, such as the creation of multiple snapshots within a short period of time or the mount of a snapshot to a new instance by a new or unexpected user. To reduce false positives, valid change management procedures could introduce a known identifier that is logged with the change (e.g., tag or header) if supported by the cloud provider, to help distinguish valid, expected actions from malicious ones.