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CAPEC-443: Malicious Logic Inserted Into Product by Authorized Developer

Attack Pattern ID: 443
Abstraction: Detailed
View customized information:
+ Description
An adversary uses their privileged position within an authorized development organization to inject malicious logic into a codebase or product.
+ Extended Description

Supply chain attacks from approved or trusted developers are extremely difficult to detect as it is generally assumed the quality control and internal security measures of these organizations conform to best practices. In some cases the malicious logic is intentional, embedded by a disgruntled employee, programmer, or individual with an otherwise hidden agenda. In other cases, the integrity of the product is compromised by accident (e.g. by lapse in the internal security of the organization that results in a product becoming contaminated). In further cases, the developer embeds a backdoor into a product to serve some purpose, such as product support, but discovery of the backdoor results in its malicious use by adversaries. It is also worth noting that this attack can occur during initial product development or throughout a product's sustainment.

+ Likelihood Of Attack


+ 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.
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.444Development Alteration
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Prerequisites
Access to the product during the initial or continuous development.
+ Consequences
Section HelpThis 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.
Execute Unauthorized Commands
+ Mitigations
Assess software and hardware during development and prior to deployment to ensure that it functions as intended and without any malicious functionality. This includes both initial development, as well as updates propagated to the product after deployment.
+ Example Instances

In January 2022 the author of popular JavaScript packages "Faker" and "colors", used for generating mock data and including colored text within NodeJS consoles respectively, introduced malicious code that resulted in a Denial of Service (DoS) via an infinite loop. When applications that leveraged these packages updated to the malicious version, their applications executed the infinite loop and output gibberish ASCI characters endlessly. This resulted in the application being unusable until a stable version of the package was obtained. [REF-705]

During initial development, an authorized hardware developer implants a malicious microcontroller within an Internet of Things (IOT) device and programs the microcontroller to communicate with the vulnerable device. Each time the device initializes, the malicious microcontroller's code is executed, which ultimately provides the adversary with backdoor access to the vulnerable device. This can further allow the adversary to sniff network traffic, exfiltrate date, execute unauthorized commands, and/or pivot to other vulnerable devices.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Section HelpCAPEC mappings to ATT&CK techniques leverage an inheritance model to streamline and minimize direct CAPEC/ATT&CK mappings. Inheritance of a mapping is indicated by text stating that the parent CAPEC has relevant ATT&CK mappings. Note that the ATT&CK Enterprise Framework does not use an inheritance model as part of the mapping to CAPEC.
Relevant to the ATT&CK taxonomy mapping
Entry IDEntry Name
1195.002Supply Chain Compromise: Compromise Software Supply Chain
1195.003Supply Chain Compromise: Compromise Hardware Supply Chain
+ References
[REF-379] Jon Boyens, Angela Smith, Nadya Bartol, Kris Winkler, Alex Holbrook and Matthew Fallon. "Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management Practices for Systems and Organizations (2nd Draft)". National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 2021-10-28. <>. URL validated: 2022-02-16.
[REF-704] Ax Sharma. "Dev corrupts NPM libs 'colors' and 'faker' breaking thousands of apps". BleepingComputer. 2022-01-09. <>. URL validated: 2022-02-16.
[REF-705] Alberto Pellitteri. "Malicious modifications to open source projects affecting thousands". SysDig. 2022-01-12. <>. URL validated: 2022-02-16.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
(Version 2.6)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
(Version 2.7)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
(Version 2.12)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Motivation-Consequences, Attack_Prerequisites, Description Summary, Solutions_and_Mitigations, Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit, Typical_Severity
(Version 3.2)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
(Version 3.5)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
(Version 3.7)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Example_Instances, Mitigations, References
(Version 3.8)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated @Name, Description, Example_Instances, Extended_Description, Mitigations, Prerequisites, Related_Attack_Patterns, Taxonomy_Mappings
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
(Version 3.8)
Malicious Logic Inserted Into Product Software by Authorized Developer
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: September 29, 2022