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CAPEC-158: Sniffing Network Traffic

Attack Pattern ID: 158
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
In this attack pattern, the adversary monitors network traffic between nodes of a public or multicast network in an attempt to capture sensitive information at the protocol level. Network sniffing applications can reveal TCP/IP, DNS, Ethernet, and other low-level network communication information. The adversary takes a passive role in this attack pattern and simply observes and analyzes the traffic. The adversary may precipitate or indirectly influence the content of the observed transaction, but is never the intended recipient of the target information.
+ Typical Severity


+ Relationships
Section HelpThis table 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.
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.157Sniffing Attacks
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Prerequisites
The target must be communicating on a network protocol visible by a network sniffing application.
The adversary must obtain a logical position on the network from intercepting target network traffic is possible. Depending on the network topology, traffic sniffing may be simple or challenging. If both the target sender and target recipient are members of a single subnet, the adversary must also be on that subnet in order to see their traffic communication.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
Adversaries can obtain and set up open-source network sniffing tools easily.
+ Resources Required
A tool with the capability of presenting network communication traffic (e.g., Wireshark, tcpdump, Cain and Abel, etc.).
+ Consequences
Section HelpThis table 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.
Read Data
+ Mitigations
Obfuscate network traffic through encryption to prevent its readability by network sniffers.
Employ appropriate levels of segmentation to your network in accordance with best practices.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Relevant to the ATT&CK taxonomy mapping
Entry IDEntry Name
1040Network Sniffing
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated References
2015-12-07CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Description Summary, Related_Attack_Patterns
2017-08-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Resources_Required
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Activation_Zone, Attack_Motivation-Consequences, Attack_Prerequisites, Attacker_Skills_or_Knowledge_Required, Description Summary, Injection_Vector, Payload, Payload_Activation_Impact, Resources_Required, Solutions_and_Mitigations
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: October 21, 2021