An attacker attempts to invoke all common switches and options in the target application for the purpose of discovering weaknesses in the target. For example, in some applications, adding a --debug switch causes debugging information to be displayed, which can sometimes reveal sensitive processing or configuration information to an attacker. This attack differs from other forms of API abuse in that the attacker is blindly attempting to invoke options in the hope that one of them will work rather than specifically targeting a known option. Nonetheless, even if the attacker is familiar with the published options of a targeted application this attack method may still be fruitful as it might discover unpublicized functionality.
The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.
Meta Attack Pattern - A meta level attack pattern in CAPEC is a decidedly abstract characterization of a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. A meta attack pattern is often void of a specific technology or implementation and is meant to provide an understanding of a high level approach. A meta level attack pattern is a generalization of related group of standard level attack patterns. Meta level attack patterns are particularly useful for architecture and design level threat modeling exercises.
The attacker must be able to control the options or switches sent to the target.
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack. The only requirement is the ability to send requests to the target.
Design: Minimize switch and option functionality to only that necessary for correct function of the command.
Implementation: Remove all debug and testing options from production code.
A Related Weakness relationship associates a weakness with this attack pattern. Each association implies a weakness that must exist for a given attack to be successful. If multiple weaknesses are associated with the attack pattern, then any of the weaknesses (but not necessarily all) may be present for the attack to be successful. Each related weakness is identified by a CWE identifier.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
July 31, 2018