An adversary, through a previously installed malicious application, intercepts messages from a trusted Android-based application in an attempt to achieve a variety of different objectives including denial of service, information disclosure, and data injection. An implicit intent sent from a trusted application can be received by any application that has declared an appropriate intent filter. If the intent is not protected by a permission that the malicious application lacks, then the attacker can gain access to the data contained within the intent. Further, the intent can be either blocked from reaching the intended destination, or modified and potentially forwarded along.
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)
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.
Detailed 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.
An adversary must be able install a purpose built malicious application onto the Android device and convince the user to execute it. The malicious application is used to intercept implicit intents.
To mitigate this type of an attack, explicit intents should be used whenever sensitive data is being sent. An explicit intent is delivered to a specific application as declared within the intent, whereas the Android operating system determines who receives an implicit intent which could potentially be a malicious application. If an implicit intent must be used, then it should be assumed that the intent will be received by an unknown application and any response should be treated accordingly. Implicit intents should never be used for inter-application communication.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
July 31, 2018
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