Create Account: Cloud Account

Adversaries may create a cloud account to maintain access to victim systems. With a sufficient level of access, such accounts may be used to establish secondary credentialed access that does not require persistent remote access tools to be deployed on the system.[1][2][3][4][5]

Adversaries may create accounts that only have access to specific cloud services, which can reduce the chance of detection.

Once an adversary has created a cloud account, they can then manipulate that account to ensure persistence and allow access to additional resources - for example, by adding Additional Cloud Credentials or assigning Additional Cloud Roles.

ID: T1136.003
Sub-technique of:  T1136
Tactic: Persistence
Platforms: Azure AD, Google Workspace, IaaS, Office 365, SaaS
Contributors: Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC); Praetorian
Version: 1.4
Created: 29 January 2020
Last Modified: 16 October 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
S0677 AADInternals

AADInternals can create new Azure AD users.[6]

G0016 APT29

APT29 can create new users through Azure AD.[7]


LAPSUS$ has created global admin accounts in the targeted organization's cloud instances to gain persistence.[8]


ID Mitigation Description
M1032 Multi-factor Authentication

Use multi-factor authentication for user and privileged accounts.

M1030 Network Segmentation

Configure access controls and firewalls to limit access to critical systems and domain controllers. Most cloud environments support separate virtual private cloud (VPC) instances that enable further segmentation of cloud systems.

M1026 Privileged Account Management

Limit the number of accounts with permissions to create other accounts. Do not allow privileged accounts to be used for day-to-day operations that may expose them to potential adversaries on unprivileged systems.


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0002 User Account User Account Creation

Monitor for newly constructed user accounts through the collection of usage logs from cloud user and administrator accounts to identify unusual activity in the creation of new accounts, such as accounts that do not follow specified naming conventions or accounts created by unapproved users or sources.[9] Monitor for newly created admin accounts that go over a certain threshold of known admins.