Adversaries know that certain binaries will be regularly executed as part of normal processing. If these binaries are not protected with the appropriate file system permissions, it could be possible to replace them with malware. This malware might be executed at higher system permission levels. A variation of this pattern is to discover self-extracting installation packages that unpack binaries to directories with weak file permissions which it does not clean up appropriately. These binaries can be replaced by malware, which can then be executed.
The table below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf and ParentOf, 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.
Standard 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.
The attacker must be able to place the malicious binary on the target machine.
Insure that binaries commonly used by the system have the correct file permissions. Set operating system policies that restrict privilege elevation of non-Administrators. Use auditing tools to observe changes to system services.
The installer for a previous version of Firefox would use a DLL maliciously placed in the default download directory instead of the existing DLL located elsewhere, probably due to DLL hijacking. This DLL would be run with administrator privileges if the installer has those privileges.
By default, the Windows screensaver application SCRNSAVE.exe leverages the scrnsave.scr Portable Executable (PE) file in C:\Windows\system32\. This value is set in the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, which can be modified by an adversary to instead point to a malicious program. This program would then run any time the SCRNSAVE.exe program is activated and with administrator privileges. An adversary may additionally modify other registry values within the same location to set the SCRNSAVE.exe program to run more frequently.
A Related Weakness relationship associates a weakness with this attack pattern. Each association implies a weakness that must exist for a given attack to be successful. If multiple weaknesses are associated with the attack pattern, then any of the weaknesses (but not necessarily all) may be present for the attack to be successful. Each related weakness is identified by a CWE identifier.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
September 30, 2019