Publicly accessible Google Compute instance uses a privileged service account


A publicly accessible VM instance has a Service Account with a privileged or administrative IAM policy. If an attacker retrieves the VM instance credentials through a vulnerability or other misconfiguration, they can compromise the victim’s Google Cloud project resources.


  1. Identify the service account assigned to the VM instance.
  2. Identify effective permissions using Policy Analyzer.
  3. Scope the policy to grant only the permissions that are required based on Google Cloud Role recommendations.