Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-407: Pretexting (Version 3.0)  

CAPEC-407: Pretexting

Attack Pattern ID: 407
Abstraction: Standard
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary engages in pretexting behavior to solicit information from target persons, or manipulate the target into performing some action that serves the adversary's interests. During a pretexting attack, the adversary creates an invented scenario, assuming an identity or role to persuade a targeted victim to release information or perform some action. It is more than just creating a lie; in some cases it can be creating a whole new identity and then using that identity to manipulate the receipt of information. Pretexting can also be used to impersonate people in certain jobs and roles that they never themselves have done. In simple form, these attacks can be leveraged to learn information about a target. More complicated iterations may seek to solicit a target to perform some action that assists the adversary in exploiting organizational weaknesses or obtaining access to secure facilities or systems. Pretexting is not a one-size fits all solution. Good information gathering techniques can make or break a good pretext. A solid pretext is an essential part of building trust. If an adversary’s alias, story, or identity has holes or lacks credibility or even the perception of credibility the target will most likely catch on.
+ Likelihood Of Attack

Medium

+ Typical Severity

Low

+ Relationships

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.

+ Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfMeta Attack PatternMeta 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.410Information Elicitation
ChildOfMeta Attack PatternMeta 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.416Manipulate Human Behavior
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.412Pretexting via Customer Service
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.413Pretexting via Tech Support
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.414Pretexting via Delivery Person
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.415Pretexting via Phone
+ Prerequisites
The adversary must have the means and knowledge of how to communicate with the target in some manner.The adversary must have knowledge of the pretext that would influence the actions of the specific target.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
The adversary requires strong inter-personal and communication skills.
+ Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Confidentiality
Other
+ Mitigations
An organization should provide regular, robust cybersecurity training to its employees to prevent successful social engineering attacks.
+ Example Instances
The adversary dresses up like a jogger and runs in place by the entrance of a building, pretending to look for their access card. Because the hood obscures their face, it may be possible to solicit someone inside the building to let them inside.
+ References
[REF-348] "The Official Social Engineering Portal". Social-Engineer.org. Tick Tock Computers, LLC. <http://www.social-engineer.org>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2017-08-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Motivation-Consequences, Attack_Prerequisites, Attacker_Skills_or_Knowledge_Required, Description Summary, Examples-Instances, Methods_of_Attack, Related_Attack_Patterns, Solutions_and_Mitigations, Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2017-08-04Social Information Gathering via Pretexting

More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018