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CAPEC-631: SoundSquatting

Attack Pattern ID: 631
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary registers a domain name that sounds the same as a trusted domain, but has a different spelling. A SoundSquatting attack takes advantage of a user's confusion of the two words to direct Internet traffic to adversary-controlled destinations. SoundSquatting does not require an attack against the trusted domain or complicated reverse engineering.
+ Alternate Terms

Term: Homophone Attack

+ Likelihood Of Attack

Low

+ Typical Severity

Medium

+ 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
ChildOfStandard Attack PatternStandard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.616Establish Rogue Location
+ Execution Flow
Explore
  1. Determine target website: The adversary first determines which website to impersonate, generally one that is trusted, receives a consistent amount of traffic, and is a homophone. Research popular or high traffic websites which are also homophones.

    Techniques
    Research popular or high traffic websites which are also homophones.
Experiment
  1. Impersonate trusted domain: In order to impersonate the trusted domain, the adversary needs to register the SoundSquatted URL. Register the SoundSquatted domain.

    Techniques
    Register the SoundSquatted domain.
Exploit
  1. Deceive user into visiting domain: Finally, the adversary needs to deceive a user into visiting the SoundSquatted domain. Execute a phishing attack and send a user an e-mail convincing the user to click on a link leading the user to the SoundSquatted domain. Assume that a user will unintentionally use the homophone in the URL, leading the user to the SoundSquatted domain.

    Techniques
    Execute a phishing attack and send a user an e-mail convincing the user to click on a link leading the user to the SoundSquatted domain.
    Assume that a user will unintentionally use the homophone in the URL, leading the user to the SoundSquatted domain.
+ Prerequisites
An adversary requires knowledge of popular or high traffic domains, that could be used to deceive potential targets.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
Adversaries must be able to register DNS hostnames/URL’s.
+ 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
Other
Other
+ Mitigations
Authenticate all servers and perform redundant checks when using DNS hostnames.
Purchase potential SoundSquatted domains and forward to legitimate domain.
+ Example Instances

An adversary sends an email, impersonating the popular banking website guaranteebanking.com, to a user stating that they have just received a new deposit and to click the given link to confirm the deposit.

However, the link the in email is guarantybanking.com instead of guaranteebanking.com, which the user clicks without fully reading the link.

The user is directed to the adversary's website, which appears as if it is the legitimate guaranteebanking.com login page.

The user thinks they are logging into their account, but have actually just given their guaranteebanking.com credentials to the adversary. The adversary can now use the user's legitimate guaranteebanking.com credentials to log into the user's account and steal any money which may be in the account.

See also: SoundSquatting vulnerability allows an adversary to impersonate a trusted domain and leverages a user's confusion between the meaning of two words which are pronounced the same into visiting the malicious website to steal user credentials.
+ References
[REF-491] Nick Nikiforakis, Marco Balduzzi, Lieven Desmet, Frank Piessens and Wouter Joosen. "Soundsquatting: Uncovering the Use of Homophones in Domain Squatting". Trend Micro. <https://www.trendmicro.de/cloud-content/us/pdfs/security-intelligence/white-papers/wp-soundsquatting.pdf>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Phases

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018