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CAPEC-202: Create Malicious Client

Attack Pattern ID: 202
Abstraction: Standard
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+ Description
An adversary creates a client application to interface with a target service where the client violates assumptions the service makes about clients. Services that have designated client applications (as opposed to services that use general client applications, such as IMAP or POP mail servers which can interact with any IMAP or POP client) may assume that the client will follow specific procedures.
+ Extended Description

For example, servers may assume that clients will accurately compute values (such as prices), will send correctly structured messages, and will attempt to ensure efficient interactions with the server. By reverse-engineering a client and creating their own version, an adversary can take advantage of these assumptions to abuse service functionality.

For example, a purchasing service might send a unit price to its client and expect the client to correctly compute the total cost of a purchase. If the adversary uses a malicious client, however, the adversary could ignore the server input and declare any total price. Likewise, an adversary could configure the client to retain network or other server resources for longer than legitimately necessary in order to degrade server performance. Even services with general clients can be susceptible to this attack if they assume certain client behaviors. However, such services generally can make fewer assumptions about the behavior of their clients in the first place and, as such, are less likely to make assumptions that an adversary can exploit.

+ 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.22Exploiting Trust in Client
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Prerequisites
The targeted service must make assumptions about the behavior of the client application that interacts with it, which can be abused by an adversary.
+ Resources Required
The adversary must be able to reverse engineer a client of the targeted service. However, the adversary does not need to reverse engineer all client functionality - they only need to recreate enough of the functionality to access the desired server functionality.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
(Version 2.6)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
(Version 3.1)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
(Version 3.7)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Description, Extended_Description
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018