A Principal Spoof is a form of Identity Spoofing where an adversary pretends to be some other person in an interaction. This is often accomplished by crafting a message (either written, verbal, or visual) that appears to come from a person other than the adversary. Phishing and Pharming attacks often attempt to do this so that their attempts to gather sensitive information appear to come from a legitimate source. A Principal Spoof does not use stolen or spoofed authentication credentials, instead relying on the appearance and content of the message to reflect identity. The possible outcomes of a Principal Spoof mirror those of Identity Spoofing. (e.g., escalation of privilege and false attribution of data or activities) Likewise, most techniques for Identity Spoofing (crafting messages or intercepting and replaying or modifying messages) can be used for a Principal Spoof attack. However, because a Principal Spoof is used to impersonate a person, social engineering can be both an attack technique (using social techniques to generate evidence in support of a false identity) as well as a possible outcome (manipulating people's perceptions by making statements or performing actions under a target's name).
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.
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.
Detailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.