An adversary intercepts an implicit intent sent to launch a trusted activity and instead launches a counterfeit activity in its place. The malicious activity is then used to mimic the trusted activity's user interface and prompt the target to enter sensitive data as if they were interacting with the trusted activity.
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.
Standard 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.
The adversary must have previously installed the malicious application that will run in place of the trusted activity.
The adversary must typically overcome network and host defenses in order to place malware on the system.
Malware capable of acting on the adversary's objectives.
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.
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 an 'implicit intent' is directed to an application as defined by the Android operating system. 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 (i.e., with appropriate security controls).
Never use implicit intents for inter-application communication.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
July 31, 2018
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