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CAPEC-522: Malicious Hardware Component Replacement

Malicious Hardware Component Replacement
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 522
Abstraction: Standard
Status: Draft
Completeness: Stub
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An attacker replaces legitimate hardware in the system with faulty counterfeit or tampered hardware in the supply chain distribution channel, with purpose of causing malicious disruption or allowing for additional compromise when the system is deployed.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • Physical access to the system after it has left the manufacturer but before it is deployed at the victim location.

+ 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


During shipment the attacker is able to intercept a system that has been purchased by the victim, and replaces a math processor card that functions just like the original, but contains advanced malicious capability. Once deployed, the system functions as normal, but allows for the attacker to remotely communicate with the system and use it as a conduit for additional compromise within the victim's environment.

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Advanced knowledge of the design of the system.

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Hardware creation and manufacture of replacement components.

+ References
[R.522.1] [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 Typical_Likelihood_of_ExploitInternal

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: August 04, 2017