Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification
A Community Resource for Identifying and Understanding Attacks
Applications often need to transform data in and out of serialized data formats, such as XML and YAML, by using a data parser. It may be possible for an adversary to inject data that may have an adverse effect on the parser when it is being processed. By supplying oversized payloads in input vectors that will be processed by the parser, an adversary can cause the parser to consume more resources while processing, causing excessive memory consumption and CPU utilization, and potentially cause execution of arbitrary code. An adversary's goal is to leverage parser failure to their advantage. DoS is most closely associated with web services, SOAP, and Rest, because remote service requesters can post malicious data payloads to the service provider designed to exhaust the service provider's memory, CPU, and/or disk space. This attack exploits the loosely coupled nature of web services, where the service provider has little to no control over the service requester and any messages the service requester sends.
This 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.
This table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
This 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.
A Related Weakness relationship associates a weakness with this attack pattern. Each association implies a weakness that must exist for a given attack to be successful. If multiple weaknesses are associated with the attack pattern, then any of the weaknesses (but not necessarily all) may be present for the attack to be successful. Each related weakness is identified by a CWE identifier.
In many cases this type of an attack will result in an XML Denial of Service (XDoS) or similar Denial of Service (DoS) due to an application becoming unstable, freezing, or crashing. However it is possible to cause a crash resulting in arbitrary code execution, leading to a jump from the data plane to the control plane [REF-89].
The main weakness in serialized data related DoS is that the service provider generally must inspect, parse, and validate the data messages to determine routing, workflow, security considerations, and so on. It is exactly these inspection, parsing, and validation routines that DoS targets.
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