Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-521: Hardware Design Specifications Are Altered (Version 2.11)  

CAPEC-521: Hardware Design Specifications Are Altered

Hardware Design Specifications Are Altered
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 521
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Completeness: Stub
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An attacker with access to a manufacturer's hardware manufacturing process documentation alters the design specifications, which introduces flaws advantageous to the attacker once the system is deployed.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • Advanced knowledge of hardware capabilities of a manufacturer's product.

  • Access to the manufacturer's documentation.

+ 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


To operate at full capability, a manufacturer's network intrusion detection device needs to have either a Intel Xeon E7-2820 or AMD FX-8350 which have 8 "cores" available, allowing for advanced threading needed to handle large volumes of network traffic without resorting to dropping packets from the detection process. The attacker alters the documentation to state that the system design must use the Intel Core Duo or the AMD Phenom II X2, which only have 2 cores, causing the system to drop large amounts of packets during deployment at a victim site with large amounts of network traffic.

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Ability to read, interpret, and subsequently alter manufacturer's documentation to cause errors in design specifications.

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Ability to stealthly gain access via remote compromise or physical access to the manufacturer's documentation.

+ References
[R.521.1] [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

More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated or Reviewed: August 04, 2017