Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-516: Hardware Component Substitution During Baselining (Version 2.9)  

CAPEC-516: Hardware Component Substitution During Baselining

Hardware Component Substitution During Baselining
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 516
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Completeness: Stub
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An attacker with access to system components during allocated baseline development can substitute a maliciously altered hardware component for a baseline component in the during the product development and research phase. This can lead to adjustments and calibrations being made in the product, so that when the final product with the proper components is deployed, it will not perform as designed and be advantageous to the attacker.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • The attacker will need either physical access or be able to supply malicious hardware components to the product development facility.

+ Typical Severity


+ Typical Likelihood of Exploit

Likelihood: Low

The nature of these type of attacks involve a coordinated effort between well-funded multiple attackers, and sometimes require physical access to successfully complete an attack. As a result these types of attacks are not launched on a large scale against any potential victim, but are typically highly targeted against victims who are often targeted and may have rather sophisticated cyber defenses already in place.

+ Examples-Instances


An attacker supplies the product development facility of a network security device with a hardware component that is used to simulate large volumes of network traffic. The device claims in logs, stats, and via the display panel to be pumping out very large quantities of network traffic, when it is in fact putting out very low volumes. The developed product is adjusted and configured to handle the what it believes to be a heavy network load, but when deployed at the victim site the large volumes of network traffic are dropped instead of being processed by the network security device. This allows the attacker an advantage when attacking the victim in that the attacker's presence may not be detected by the device.

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: Medium

Intelligence data on victim's purchasing habits.

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Resources to maliciously construct/alter hardware components used for testing by the supplier.

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Resources to physically infiltrate supplier.

+ References
[R.516.1] [REF-50] John F. Miller. "Supply Chain Attack Framework and Attack Patterns". The MITRE Corporation. 2013. <http://www.mitre.org/sites/default/files/publications/supply-chain-attack-framework-14-0228.pdf>.
+ Content History
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2014-06-23Internal_CAPEC_Team
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2015-11-09Updated Examples-Instances, Related_Attack_Patterns, Typical_Likelihood_of_ExploitInternal

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: December 07, 2015