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Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-518: Documentation Alteration to Produce Under-performing Systems (Version 3.9)  

CAPEC-518: Documentation Alteration to Produce Under-performing Systems

Attack Pattern ID: 518
Abstraction: Detailed
View customized information:
+ Description
An attacker with access to a manufacturer's documentation alters the descriptions of system capabilities with the intent of causing errors in derived system requirements, impacting the overall effectiveness and capability of the system, allowing an attacker to take advantage of the introduced system capability flaw once the system is deployed.
+ 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.447Design Alteration
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Prerequisites
Advanced knowledge of software and hardware capabilities of a manufacturer's product.
Access to the manufacturer's documentation.
+ Skills Required
[Level: High]
Ability to read, interpret, and subsequently alter manufacturer's documentation to misrepresent system capabilities.
[Level: High]
Ability to stealthly gain access via remote compromise or physical access to the manufacturer's documentation.
+ Mitigations
Digitize documents and cryptographically sign them to verify authenticity.
Password protect documents and make them read-only for unauthorized users.
Avoid emailing important documents and configurations.
Ensure deleted files are actually deleted.
Maintain backups of the document for recovery and verification.
Separate need-to-know information from system configuration information depending on the user.
+ Example Instances
A security subsystem involving encryption is a part of a product, but due to the demands of this subsystem during operation, the subsystem only runs when a specific amount of memory and processing is available. An attacker alters the descriptions of the system capabilities so that when deployed with the minimal requirements at the victim location, the encryption subsystem is never operational, leaving the system in a weakened security state.
+ References
[REF-439] John F. Miller. "Supply Chain Attack Framework and Attack Patterns". The MITRE Corporation. 2013. <>.
[REF-715] Marie Prokopets. "How To Secure Your Documents". Nira. <>. URL validated: 2022-02-21.
+ 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, Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit
(Version 3.2)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
(Version 3.7)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Mitigations, References
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018