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Stratus Red Team is opinionated about the attack techniques it packages, in order to make sure it provides actual value, as opposed to emulating "attacker behavior" in a non-actionable way (such as calling sts:GetCallerIdentity).

This page describes the characteristics that all attack techniques of Stratus Red Team should have.

Be Granular

An attack technique should be granular, meaning that it should emulate a single step of an attack.

  • Good: Share an EBS snapshot with an external AWS account.
  • Bad: Use an IAM access key to perform privilege escalation, run discovery commands, take an EBS snapshot of an instance, share the EBS snapshot with an external AWS account.

Emulate actual attacker activity

It's always hard to draw a line between legitimate and malicious activity, and between "theoretical" and "practical" attack techniques. In Stratus Red Team, we aim to follow the following acceptance criteria for adding new attack techniques:

  • Techniques should emulate plausible and documented attacker behavior
  • For every technique, we should have evidence it has been used in the past by attackers, pentesters, or malware
  • It should always be possible to derive a reasonable detection rule from a technique


  • Good: Delete a CloudTrail trail
  • Bad: Run sts:GetCallerIdentity
    • While attackers might use this API call, it is in no way indicative of attacker activity, as it's used by many services and client applications.
    • It isn't emulating activity that could reasonably be thought to be malicious.

Stratus Red Team's goal is not to re-implement all AWS API calls that may be used by an attacker, neither to emulate all possible theoritical attack vectors.

Be Self-Sufficient

An attack technique should not be dependent on the state of the cloud environment it's run against.

  • Good: Create an EBS snapshot and share it
  • Bad: Expect an EBS snapshot exists in the account prior to running Stratus Red Team