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CAPEC-160: Exploit Script-Based APIs

Attack Pattern ID: 160
Abstraction: Standard
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+ Description
Some APIs support scripting instructions as arguments. Methods that take scripted instructions (or references to scripted instructions) can be very flexible and powerful. However, if an attacker can specify the script that serves as input to these methods they can gain access to a great deal of functionality. For example, HTML pages support <script> tags that allow scripting languages to be embedded in the page and then interpreted by the receiving web browser. If the content provider is malicious, these scripts can compromise the client application. Some applications may even execute the scripts under their own identity (rather than the identity of the user providing the script) which can allow attackers to perform activities that would otherwise be denied to them.
+ 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.
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.113Interface Manipulation
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Execution Flow
  1. Identify API: Discover an API of interest by exploring application documentation or observing responses to API calls

    Search via internet for known, published APIs that support scripting instructions as arguments
  1. Test simple script: Adversaries will attempt to give a smaller script as input to the API, such as simply printing to the console, to see if the attack is viable.

    Create a general script to be taken as input by the API
  1. Give malicious scripting instructions to API: Adversaries will now craft custom scripts to do malicious behavior. Depending on the setup of the application this script could be run with user or admin level priveleges.

    Crafting a malicious script to be run on a system based on priveleges and capabilities of the system
+ Prerequisites
The target application must include the use of APIs that execute scripts.
The target application must allow the attacker to provide some or all of the arguments to one of these script interpretation methods and must fail to adequately filter these arguments for dangerous or unwanted script commands.
+ Resources Required
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
(Version 2.6)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
(Version 2.8)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Description Summary
(Version 2.11)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Resources_Required
(Version 3.1)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Weaknesses
(Version 3.3)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
(Version 3.6)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Execution_Flow
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
(Version 2.8)
Programming to included script-based APIs
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018