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CAPEC-171: Variable Manipulation

Variable Manipulation
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 171
Abstraction: Meta
Status: Deprecated
Completeness: Stub
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An attacker manipulates variables used by an application to perform a variety of possible attacks. This can either be performed through the manipulation of function call parameters or by manipulating external variables, such as environment variables, that are used by an application. Changing variable values is usually undertaken as part of another attack; for example, a path traversal (inserting relative path modifiers) or buffer overflow (enlarging a variable value beyond an application's ability to store it).

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • The targeted application must rely on external variables (e.g. environment variables) or user-controlled variables (e.g. call parameters) in such a way that malicious manipulation of them can subvert functionality.

+ Typical Severity


+ Resources Required

The attacker must be able to manipulate the targeted variable. For some variables, such as URL-encoded parameters in a web call, this is very simple. For others, such as a system's environment variables, this can require additional resources or capabilities.

+ Solutions and Mitigations

Design: Range, size and value and consistency verification for any arguments supplied to application from external sources and devise appropriate error response.

Design: Ensure that variables that should not be manipulated by a user are not accessible to them.

+ Content History
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2014-06-23Internal_CAPEC_Team
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2017-01-09Updated Related_Attack_PatternsInternal

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: December 07, 2015