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Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-446: Malicious Logic Insertion into Product Software via Inclusion of 3rd Party Component Dependency (Version 3.7)  

CAPEC-446: Malicious Logic Insertion into Product Software via Inclusion of 3rd Party Component Dependency

Attack Pattern ID: 446
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Stable
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary conducts supply chain attacks by the inclusion of insecure 3rd party components into a technology, product, or code-base, possibly packaging a malicious driver or component along with the product before shipping it to the consumer or acquirer. The result is a window of opportunity for exploiting the product or software until the insecure component is discovered. This supply chain threat can result in the installation of software that introduces widespread security vulnerabilities within an organization. One example could be the inclusion of an exploitable DLL (Dynamic Link Library) included within an antivirus technology. Because software often depends upon a large number of interdependent libraries and components to be present, security holes can be introduced merely by installing COTS software that comes pre-packaged with the components required for it to operate.
+ 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 software during the development phase. This access is often obtained via insider access to include the 3rd party component after deployment.
+ 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 during development and prior to deployment to ensure that it functions as intended and without any malicious functionality.
+ Example Instances

From mid-2014 to early 2015, Lenovo computers were shipped with the Superfish Visual Search software that ultimately functioned as adware on the system. The Visual Search installation included a self-signed root HTTPS certificate that was able to intercept encrypted traffic for any site visited by the user. Of more concern was the fact that the certificate's corresponding private key was the same for every Lenovo machine. Once the private key was discovered [REF-709], an adversary could then conduct an Adversary-in-the-Middle (AitM) attack that would go undetected by machines that had this certificate installed on it. Adversaries could then masquerade as legitimate entities such as financial institutions, popular corporations, or other secure destinations on the Internet. [REF-708]

+ 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-707] Thomas Brewster. "How Lenovo's Superfish 'Malware' Works And What You Can Do To Kill It". Forbes. 2015-02-19. <>. URL validated: 2022-02-16.
[REF-708] Dan Goodin. "Lenovo PCs ship with man-in-the-middle adware that breaks HTTPS connections". Ars Technica. 2015-02-19. <>. URL validated: 2022-02-16.
[REF-709] Rob Graham. "Extracting the SuperFish certificate". Errata Security. 2015-02-19. <>. URL validated: 2022-02-16.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Motivation-Consequences, Attack_Prerequisites, Description Summary, Solutions_and_Mitigations, Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit, Typical_Severity
2019-09-30CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2021-06-24CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2022-02-22CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Example_Instances, References
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: October 21, 2021