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CAPEC-537: Infiltration of Hardware Development Environment

Infiltration of Hardware Development Environment
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 537
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Completeness: Stub
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An attacker, leveraging the ability to manipulate components of primary support systems and tools within the development and production environments, inserts malicious software within the hardware and/or firmware development environment. The infiltration purpose is to alter developed hardware components in a system destined for deployment at the victim's organization, for the purpose of disruption or further compromise.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • The victim must use email or removable media from systems running the IDE (or systems adjacent to the IDE systems).

  • The victim must have a system running exploitable applications and/or a vulnerable configuration to allow for initial infiltration.

  • The attacker must have working knowledge of some if not all of the components involved in the IDE system as well as the infrastructure.

+ 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


The attacker, knowing the manufacturer runs email on a system adjacent to the hardware development systems used for hardware and/or firmware design, sends a phishing email with a malicious attachment to the manufacturer. When viewed, the malicious attachment installs a backdoor that allows the attacker to remotely compromise the adjacent hardware development system from the manufacturer's workstation. The attacker is then able to exfiltrate and alter sensitive data on the hardware system, allowing for future compromise once the developed system is deployed at the victim location.

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: Medium

Intelligence about the manufacturer's operating environment and infrastructure.

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Ability to develop, deploy, and maintain a stealth malicious backdoor program remotely in what is essentially a hostile environment.

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Development skills to construct malicious attachments that can be used to exploit vulnerabilities in typical desktop applications or system configurations. The malicious attachments should be crafted well enough to bypass typical defensive systems (IDS, anti-virus, etc)

+ References
[R.537.1] [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