An adversary, through a previously installed malicious application, issues an intent directed toward a specific trusted application's component in an attempt to achieve a variety of different objectives including modification of data, information disclosure, and data injection. Components that have been unintentionally exported and made public are subject to this type of an attack. If the component blindly trusts the intent's action, then the target application performs the functionality at the adversary's request, helping the adversary achieve the desired negative technical impact.
The table below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf and ParentOf, 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.
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.
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 will be used to issue spoofed intents.
To limit one's exposure to this type of attack, developers should avoid exporting components unless the component is specifically designed to handle requests from untrusted applications. Developers should be aware that declaring an intent filter will automatically export the component, exposing it to public access. Critical, state-changing actions should not be placed in exported components. If a single component handles both inter- and intra-application requests, the developer should consider dividing that component into separate components. If a component must be exported (e.g., to receive system broadcasts), then the component should dynamically check the caller's identity prior to performing any operations. Requiring Signature or SignatureOrSystem permissions is an effective way of limiting a component's exposure to a set of trusted applications. Finally, the return values of exported components can also leak private data, so developers should check the caller's identity prior to returning sensitive values.
A Related Weakness relationship associates a weakness with this attack pattern. Each association implies a weakness that must exist for a given attack to be successful. If multiple weaknesses are associated with the attack pattern, then any of the weaknesses (but not necessarily all) may be present for the attack to be successful. Each related weakness is identified by a CWE identifier.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
September 30, 2019