Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-421: Influence Perception of Authority (Version 3.0)  

CAPEC-421: Influence Perception of Authority

Attack Pattern ID: 421
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Stable
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary uses a social engineering technique to convey a sense of authority that motivates the target to reveal specific information or take specific action. There are various techniques for producing a sense of authority during ordinary modes of communication. One common method is impersonation. By impersonating someone with a position of power within an organization, an adversary may motivate the target individual to reveal some piece of sensitive information or perform an action that benefits the adversary.
+ Likelihood Of Attack


+ Typical Severity


+ 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)
ChildOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.417Influence Perception
+ Prerequisites
The adversary must have the means and knowledge of how to communicate with the target in some manner.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
The adversary requires strong inter-personal and communication skills.
+ Resources Required
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack.
+ 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.

+ Mitigations
An organization should provide regular, robust cybersecurity training to its employees to prevent social engineering attacks.
+ Example Instances
The adversary calls the target and announces that he is the head of IT at the target's company. The adversary goes on to say that there has been a technical issue and he/she needs the target's login credentials for their account. By convincing the target of his/her authority, the adversary hopes the target will reveal the sensitive information.
+ References
[REF-348] "The Official Social Engineering Portal". Social-Engineer.org. Tick Tock Computers, LLC. <http://www.social-engineer.org>.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
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, Resources_Required, Solutions_and_Mitigations, Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Description Summary
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2017-08-04Target Influence via Perception of Authority

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018