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CAPEC-458: Flash Memory Attacks

Attack Pattern ID: 458
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An attacker inserts malicious logic into a product or technology via flashing the on-board memory with a code-base that contains malicious logic. Various attacks exist against the integrity of flash memory, the most direct being rootkits coded into the BIOS or chipset of a device. Such attacks are very difficult to detect because the malicious code resides outside the filesystem or RAM, and in the underlying byte-code that drives the processor. Many devices, such as the recent attacks against digital picture frames, contain only a microprocessor and a small amount of solid-state memory, rendering these devices ideal for "flash" based malware or malicious logic. One of the pernicious characteristics of flash memory based attacks is that the malicious code can survive even a total format of the hard-drive and reinstallation of the host operating system. Virtually any device which can be integrated into a computer system is susceptible to these attacks. Additionally, any peripheral device which interfaces with the computer bus could extract or sniff confidential data, even on systems employing full-disk encryption. Trojan code placed into a video card's chipset would continue to perform its function irrespective of the host operating system, and would be invisible to all known antivirus. The threats extend to consumer products such as camcorders, digital cameras, or any consumer electronic device with an embedded microcontroller.
+ 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.

NatureTypeIDName
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.456Infected Memory

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

+ References
[REF-379] Information Technology Laboratory. "Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM)". National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 2010.
[REF-394] Robert Lemos. "Researchers: Rootkits headed for BIOS". SecurityFocus. 2006.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: September 30, 2019