Data from Cloud Storage

Adversaries may access data from improperly secured cloud storage.

Many cloud service providers offer solutions for online data object storage such as Amazon S3, Azure Storage, and Google Cloud Storage. These solutions differ from other storage solutions (such as SQL or Elasticsearch) in that there is no overarching application. Data from these solutions can be retrieved directly using the cloud provider's APIs.

In other cases, SaaS application providers such as Slack, Confluence, and Salesforce also provide cloud storage solutions as a peripheral use case of their platform. These cloud objects can be extracted directly from their associated application.[1][2][3][4]

Adversaries may collect sensitive data from these cloud storage solutions. Providers typically offer security guides to help end users configure systems, though misconfigurations are a common problem.[5][6][7] There have been numerous incidents where cloud storage has been improperly secured, typically by unintentionally allowing public access to unauthenticated users, overly-broad access by all users, or even access for any anonymous person outside the control of the Identity Access Management system without even needing basic user permissions.

This open access may expose various types of sensitive data, such as credit cards, personally identifiable information, or medical records.[8][9][10][11]

Adversaries may also obtain then abuse leaked credentials from source repositories, logs, or other means as a way to gain access to cloud storage objects.

ID: T1530
Sub-techniques:  No sub-techniques
Tactic: Collection
Platforms: IaaS, SaaS
Contributors: AppOmni; Netskope; Praetorian
Version: 2.0
Created: 30 August 2019
Last Modified: 18 October 2022

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0117 Fox Kitten

Fox Kitten has obtained files from the victim's cloud storage instances.[12]

S0683 Peirates

Peirates can dump the contents of AWS S3 buckets. It can also retrieve service account tokens from kOps buckets in Google Cloud Storage or S3.[13]


ID Mitigation Description
M1047 Audit

Frequently check permissions on cloud storage to ensure proper permissions are set to deny open or unprivileged access to resources.[5]

M1041 Encrypt Sensitive Information

Encrypt data stored at rest in cloud storage.[5][6] Managed encryption keys can be rotated by most providers. At a minimum, ensure an incident response plan to storage breach includes rotating the keys and test for impact on client applications.[14]

M1037 Filter Network Traffic

Cloud service providers support IP-based restrictions when accessing cloud resources. Consider using IP allowlisting along with user account management to ensure that data access is restricted not only to valid users but only from expected IP ranges to mitigate the use of stolen credentials to access data.

M1032 Multi-factor Authentication

Consider using multi-factor authentication to restrict access to resources and cloud storage APIs.[5]

M1022 Restrict File and Directory Permissions

Use access control lists on storage systems and objects.

M1018 User Account Management

Configure user permissions groups and roles for access to cloud storage.[6] Implement strict Identity and Access Management (IAM) controls to prevent access to storage solutions except for the applications, users, and services that require access.[5] Ensure that temporary access tokens are issued rather than permanent credentials, especially when access is being granted to entities outside of the internal security boundary.[15]


ID Data Source Data Component Detects
DS0010 Cloud Storage Cloud Storage Access

Monitor for unusual queries to the cloud provider's storage service. Activity originating from unexpected sources may indicate improper permissions are set and are allowing access to data. Additionally, detecting failed attempts by a user for a certain object, followed by escalation of privileges by the same user, and access to the same object may be an indication of suspicious activity.