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CAPEC-520: Counterfeit Hardware Component Inserted During Product Assembly

Counterfeit Hardware Component Inserted During Product Assembly
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 520
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Completeness: Stub
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An attacker with either direct access to the product assembly process or to the supply of subcomponents used in the product assembly process introduces counterfeit hardware components into product assembly. The assembly containing the counterfeit components results in a system specifically designed for malicious purposes.

+ 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


A manufacturer of a firewall system requires a hardware card which functions as a multi-jack ethernet card with four ethernet ports. The attacker constructs a counterfeit card that functions normally except that packets from the attacker's network are allowed to bypass firewall processing completely. Once deployed at a victim location, this allows the attacker to bypass the firewall unrestricted.

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Resources to maliciously construct components used by the manufacturer.

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Resources to physically infiltrate manufacturer or manufacturer's supplier.

+ References
[R.520.1] [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 Related_Attack_Patterns, Typical_Likelihood_of_ExploitInternal

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: August 04, 2017