Remote Services: Cloud Services

Adversaries may log into accessible cloud services within a compromised environment using Valid Accounts that are synchronized with or federated to on-premises user identities. The adversary may then perform management actions or access cloud-hosted resources as the logged-on user.

Many enterprises federate centrally managed user identities to cloud services, allowing users to login with their domain credentials in order to access the cloud control plane. Similarly, adversaries may connect to available cloud services through the web console or through the cloud command line interface (CLI) (e.g., Cloud API), using commands such as Connect-AZAccount for Azure PowerShell, Connect-MgGraph for Microsoft Graph PowerShell, and gcloud auth login for the Google Cloud CLI.

In some cases, adversaries may be able to authenticate to these services via Application Access Token instead of a username and password.

ID: T1021.007
Sub-technique of:  T1021
Platforms: Azure AD, Google Workspace, IaaS, Office 365, SaaS
Version: 1.0
Created: 21 February 2023
Last Modified: 14 April 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0016 APT29

APT29 has leveraged compromised high-privileged on-premises accounts synced to Office 365 to move laterally into a cloud environment, including through the use of Azure AD PowerShell.[1]

C0027 C0027

During C0027, Scattered Spider used compromised Azure credentials for credential theft activity and lateral movement to on-premises systems.[2]


ID Mitigation Description
M1032 Multi-factor Authentication

Use multi-factor authentication on cloud services whenever possible.

M1026 Privileged Account Management

Limit the number of high-privileged domain and cloud accounts, and ensure that these are not used for day-to-day operations. Ensure that on-premises accounts do not have privileged cloud permissions and that isolated, cloud-only accounts are used for managing cloud environments.[3]


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0028 Logon Session Logon Session Creation

Monitor for newly constructed logon behavior to cloud services. For example, in Azure AD, consider using Identity Protection to monitor for suspicious login behaviors to cloud resources. [3]