Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-228: DTD Injection (Version 3.2)  

CAPEC-228: DTD Injection

Attack Pattern ID: 228
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An attacker injects malicious content into an application's DTD in an attempt to produce a negative technical impact. DTDs are used to describe how XML documents are processed. Certain malformed DTDs (for example, those with excessive entity expansion as described in CAPEC 197) can cause the XML parsers that process the DTDs to consume excessive resources resulting in resource depletion.
+ Typical Severity


+ Relationships

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.

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.250XML Injection
CanFollowDeprecatedDeprecated280DEPRECATED: SOAP Parameter Tampering

The table below shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.

+ Execution Flow
  1. Survey the target: Using a browser or an automated tool, an attacker records all instances of web services to process XML requests.

    Use an automated tool to record all instances of URLs to process XML requests.
    Use a browser to manually explore the website and analyze how the application processes XML requests.
  2. Determine use of XML with DTDs: Examine application input to identify XML input that leverage the use of one or more DTDs.

    Examine any available documentation for the application that discusses expected XML input.
    Exercise the application using XML input with and without a DTD specified. Failure without DTD likely indicates use of DTD.
  1. Craft and inject XML containg malicious DTD payload:

    Inject XML expansion attack that creates a Denial of Service impact on the targeted server using its DTD.
    Inject XML External Entity (XEE) attack that can cause the disclosure of confidential information, execute abitrary code, create a Denial of Service of the targeted server, or several other malicious impacts.
+ Prerequisites
The target must be running an XML based application that leverages DTDs.
+ Mitigations
Design: Sanitize incoming DTDs to prevent excessive expansion or other actions that could result in impacts like resource depletion.
Implementation: Disallow the inclusion of DTDs as part of incoming messages.
Implementation: Use XML parsing tools that protect against DTD attacks.
+ References
[REF-86] Ryan Naraine. "DoS Flaw in SOAP DTD Parameter". InternetNews.com. ITBusiness Edge, Quinstreet Inc.. 2003-12-15. <http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3289191>.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2017-08-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Phases, Description, Description Summary, Solutions_and_Mitigations
2019-04-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Weaknesses
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: September 30, 2019