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CAPEC-480: Escaping Virtualization

Attack Pattern ID: 480
Abstraction: Standard
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+ Description
An adversary gains access to an application, service, or device with the privileges of an authorized or privileged user by escaping the confines of a virtualized environment. The adversary is then able to access resources or execute unauthorized code within the host environment, generally with the privileges of the user running the virtualized process. Successfully executing an attack of this type is often the first step in executing more complex attacks.
+ Likelihood Of Attack


+ Typical Severity

Very High

+ 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.
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.115Authentication Bypass
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed Attack Pattern - A detailed level attack pattern in CAPEC provides a low level of detail, typically leveraging a specific technique and targeting a specific technology, and expresses a complete execution flow. Detailed attack patterns are more specific than meta attack patterns and standard attack patterns and often require a specific protection mechanism to mitigate actual attacks. A detailed level attack pattern often will leverage a number of different standard level attack patterns chained together to accomplish a goal.237Escaping a Sandbox by Calling Code in Another Language
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Execution Flow
  1. Probing: The adversary probes the target application, service, or device to find a possible weakness that would allow escaping the virtualized environment.

    Probing applications, services, or devices for virtualization weaknesses.
  1. Verify the exploitable security weaknesses: Using the found weakness, the adversary attempts to escape the virtualized environment.

    Using an application weakness to escape a virtualized environment
  1. Execute more complex attacks: Once outside of the virtualized environment, the adversary attempts to perform other more complex attacks such as accessing system resources or executing unauthorized code within the host environment.

    Executing complex attacks when given higher permissions by escaping a virtualized environment
+ 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.
Access Control
Bypass Protection Mechanism
Execute Unauthorized Commands
Gain Privileges
+ Mitigations
Ensure virtualization software is current and up-to-date.
Abide by the least privilege principle to avoid assigning users more privileges than necessary.
+ 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 (also see parent)
Entry IDEntry Name
1611Escape to Host
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
(Version 3.2)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
(Version 3.4)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Resources_Required
(Version 3.5)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Taxonomy_Mappings
(Version 3.6)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Execution_Flow
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: September 30, 2019