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CAPEC-54: Query System for Information

Attack Pattern ID: 54
Abstraction: Standard
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary, aware of an application's location (and possibly authorized to use the application), probes an application's structure and evaluates its robustness by submitting requests and examining responses. Often, this is accomplished by sending variants of expected queries in the hope that these modified queries might return information beyond what the expected set of queries would provide.
+ Likelihood Of Attack

High

+ Typical Severity

Low

+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfMeta Attack PatternMeta Attack Pattern - A meta level attack pattern in CAPEC is a decidedly abstract characterization of a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. A meta attack pattern is often void of a specific technology or implementation and is meant to provide an understanding of a high level approach. A meta level attack pattern is a generalization of related group of standard level attack patterns. Meta level attack patterns are particularly useful for architecture and design level threat modeling exercises.116Excavation
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.95WSDL Scanning
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.127Directory Indexing
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.214Fuzzing for garnering J2EE/.NET-based stack traces, for application mapping
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.215Fuzzing and observing application log data/errors for application mapping
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.261Fuzzing for garnering other adjacent user/sensitive data
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.462Cross-Domain Search Timing
+ Execution Flow
Explore
  1. Determine user-controllable parameters of the application

Exploit
  1. Inject each parameter with content that causes an error condition to manifest

  2. Modify the content of each parameter according to observed error conditions

  3. Repeat above steps with enough parameters until the application has been sufficiently mapped out to launch desired attack (for example, Blind SQL Injection)

+ Prerequisites
This class of attacks does not strictly require authorized access to the application. As Attackers use this attack process to classify, map, and identify vulnerable aspects of an application, it simply requires hypotheses to be verified, interaction with the application, and time to conduct trial-and-error activities.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Medium]
Although fuzzing parameters is not difficult, and often possible with automated fuzzers, interpreting the error conditions and modifying the parameters so as to move further in the process of mapping the application requires detailed knowledge of target platform, the languages and packages used as well as software design.
+ Resources Required
The Attacker needs the ability to probe application functionality and provide it erroneous directives or data without triggering intrusion detection schemes or making enough of an impact on application logging that steps are taken against the attacker. The Attack does not need special hardware, software, skills, or access.
+ Indicators
Repeated errors generated by the same piece of code are an indication, although it requires careful monitoring of the application and its associated error logs, if any.
+ Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Confidentiality
Read Data
+ Mitigations
Application designers can construct a 'code book' for error messages. When using a code book, application error messages aren't generated in string or stack trace form, but are cataloged and replaced with a unique (often integer-based) value 'coding' for the error. Such a technique will require helpdesk and hosting personnel to use a 'code book' or similar mapping to decode application errors/logs in order to respond to them normally.
Application designers can wrap application functionality (preferably through the underlying framework) in an output encoding scheme that obscures or cleanses error messages to prevent such attacks. Such a technique is often used in conjunction with the above 'code book' suggestion.
+ Example Instances
Blind SQL injection is an example of this technique, applied to successful exploit. See also: CVE-2006-4705

Attacker sends bad data at various servlets in a J2EE system, records returned exception stack traces, and maps application functionality.

In addition, this technique allows attackers to correlate those servlets used with the underlying open source packages (and potentially version numbers) that provide them.

+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Description Summary
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated References
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2015-11-09Probe Application Error Reporting

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018