Likelihood Of Attack
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.
Meta 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.
Understand How to Request JSON Responses from the Target System: An attacker first explores the target system to understand what URLs need to be provided to it in order to retrieve JSON objects that contain information of interest to the attacker.
An attacker creates an account with the target system and observes requests and the corresponding JSON responses from the server. Understanding how to properly elicit responses from the server is crucial to the attackers' ability to craft the exploit.
Craft a malicious website:
The attacker crafts a malicious website to which he plans to lure the victim who is using the vulnerable target system. The malicious website does two things:
1. Contains a hook that intercepts incoming JSON objects, reads their contents and forwards the contents to the server controlled by the attacker (via a new XMLHttpRequest).
2. Uses the script tag with a URL in the source that requests a JSON object from the vulnerable target system. Once the JSON object is transmitted to the victim's browser, the malicious code (as described in step 1) intercepts that JSON object, steals its contents, and forwards to the attacker.
Launch JSON hijack: An attacker lures the victim to the malicious website or leverages other means to get his malicious code executing in the victim's browser. Once that happens, the malicious code makes a request to the victim target system to retrieve a JSON object with sensitive information. The request includes the victim's session cookie if the victim is logged in.
An attacker employs a myriad of standard techniques to get the victim to visit his or her malicious site or by some other means get the attackers' malicious code executing in the victim's browser.
JSON is used as a transport mechanism between the client and the server
The target server cannot differentiate real requests from forged requests
The JSON object returned from the server can be accessed by the attackers' malicious code via a script tag
Once this attack pattern is developed and understood, creating an exploit is not very complex.The attacker needs to have knowledge of the URLs that need to be accessed on the target system to request the JSON objects.
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack.
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.
Ensure that server side code can differentiate between legitimate requests and forged requests. The solution is similar to protection against Cross Site Request Forger (CSRF), which is to use a hard to guess random nonce (that is unique to the victim's session with the server) that the attacker has no way of knowing (at least in the absence of other weaknesses). Each request from the client to the server should contain this nonce and the server should reject all requests that do not contain the nonce.
Make the URLs in the system used to retrieve JSON objects unpredictable and unique for each user session.
Gmail service was found to be vulnerable to a JSON Hijacking attack that enabled an attacker to get the contents of the victim's address book. An attacker could send an e-mail to the victim's Gmail account (which ensures that the victim is logged in to Gmail when he or she receives it) with a link to the attackers' malicious site. If the victim clicked on the link, a request (containing the victim's authenticated session cookie) would be sent to the Gmail servers to fetch the victim's address book. This functionality is typically used by the Gmail service to get this data on the fly so that the user can be provided a list of contacts from which to choose the recipient of the e-mail.
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.