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CAPEC-516: Hardware Component Substitution During Baselining

Attack Pattern ID: 516
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An attacker with access to system components during allocated baseline development can substitute a maliciously altered hardware component for a baseline component in the during the product development and research phase. This can lead to adjustments and calibrations being made in the product, so that when the final product with the proper components is deployed, it will not perform as designed and be advantageous to the attacker.
+ 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
The attacker will need either physical access or be able to supply malicious hardware components to the product development facility.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Medium]
Intelligence data on victim's purchasing habits.
[Level: High]
Resources to maliciously construct/alter hardware components used for testing by the supplier.
[Level: High]
Resources to physically infiltrate supplier.
+ Example Instances
An attacker supplies the product development facility of a network security device with a hardware component that is used to simulate large volumes of network traffic. The device claims in logs, stats, and via the display panel to be pumping out very large quantities of network traffic, when it is in fact putting out very low volumes. The developed product is adjusted and configured to handle the what it believes to be a heavy network load, but when deployed at the victim site the large volumes of network traffic are dropped instead of being processed by the network security device. This allows the attacker an advantage when attacking the victim in that the attacker's presence may not be detected by the device.
+ References
[REF-439] John F. Miller. "Supply Chain Attack Framework and Attack Patterns". The MITRE Corporation. 2013. <>.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2015-11-09CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Examples-Instances, Related_Attack_Patterns, Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit
2019-09-30CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2021-06-24CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: December 17, 2020