An adversary leverages a legitimate capability of an application in such a way as to achieve a negative technical impact. The system functionality is not altered or modified but used in a way that was not intended. This is often accomplished through the overuse of a specific functionality or by leveraging functionality with design flaws that enables the adversary to gain access to unauthorized, sensitive data.
The adversary has the capability to interact with the application directly.
The target system does not adequately implement safeguards to prevent misuse of authorized actions/processes.
Typical Likelihood of Exploit
Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required
Skill or Knowledge Level: Low
Solutions and Mitigations
Perform comprehensive threat modeling, a process of identifying, evaluating, and mitigating potential threats to the application. This effort can help reveal potentially obscure application functionality that can be manipulated for malicious purposes.
When implementing security features, consider how they can be misused and compromised.
Gain privileges / assume identity
A successful attack of this kind can compromise the confidentiality of an authorized user's credentials.
"Varies by context"
Depending on the adversary's intended technical impact, a successful attack of this kind can compromise any or all elements of the security triad.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
July 31, 2017
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