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CAPEC-234: Hijacking a privileged process

Attack Pattern ID: 234
Abstraction: Standard
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary gains control of a process that is assigned elevated privileges in order to execute arbitrary code with those privileges. Some processes are assigned elevated privileges on an operating system, usually through association with a particular user, group, or role. If an attacker can hijack this process, they will be able to assume its level of privilege in order to execute their own code.
+ Typical Severity

Medium

+ 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.
NatureTypeIDName
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.233Privilege Escalation
CanFollowStandard 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.100Overflow Buffers
CanFollowMeta 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.175Code Inclusion
CanFollowMeta 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.242Code Injection
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Execution Flow
Explore
  1. Find process with elevated priveleges: The adversary probes for processes running with elevated privileges.

    Techniques
    On Windows, use the process explorer's security tab to see if a process is running with administror privileges.
    On Linux, use the ps command to view running processes and pipe the output to a search for a particular user, or the root user.
Experiment
  1. Find vulnerability in running process: The adversary looks for a vulnerability in the running process that would allow for arbitrary code execution with the privilege of the running process.

    Techniques
    Look for improper input validation
    Look for a buffer overflow which may be exploited if an adversary can inject unvalidated data.
    Utilize system utilities that support process control that have been inadequately secured
Exploit
  1. Execute arbitrary code: The adversary exploits the vulnerability that they have found and hijacks the running process.

+ Prerequisites
The targeted process or operating system must contain a bug that allows attackers to hijack the targeted process.
+ Resources Required
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2017-01-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2017-08-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Resources_Required
2020-07-30CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns, Taxonomy_Mappings
2021-06-24CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Taxonomy_Mappings
2021-10-21CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Description, Execution_Flow, Related_Attack_Patterns
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: October 21, 2021