Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-538: Open Source Libraries Altered (Version 2.11)  

CAPEC-538: Open Source Libraries Altered

Open Source Libraries Altered
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 538
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Completeness: Stub
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An attacker with access to an open source code project and knowledge of its particular use for in a system being developed, manufactured, or supported for the victim, can insert malicious code into the open source software used for math libraries in anticipation of inclusion into the system for the purpose of disruption or further compromise within the victim organization.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • Access to the open source code base being used by the manufacturer in a system being developed or currently deployed at a 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


An attacker with access to an open source code project introduces a hard-to-find bug in the software that allows under very specific conditions for encryption to be disabled on data streams. The attacker commits the change to the code which is picked up by a manufacturer who develops VPN software. It is eventually deployed at the victim's location where the very specific conditions are met, and the attacker is able to sniff plaintext traffic thought to be encrypted, allowing the attacker to gain access to sensitive data of the victim.

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: High

Advanced knowledge about the inclusion and specific usage of an open source code project within system being targeted for infiltration.

+ References
[R.538.1] [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