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CAPEC-522: Malicious Hardware Component Replacement

Attack Pattern ID: 522
Abstraction: Standard
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An attacker replaces legitimate hardware in the system with faulty counterfeit or tampered hardware in the supply chain distribution channel, with purpose of causing malicious disruption or allowing for additional compromise when 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.
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.439Manipulation During Distribution
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Prerequisites
Physical access to the system after it has left the manufacturer but before it is deployed at the victim location.
+ Skills Required
[Level: High]
Advanced knowledge of the design of the system.
[Level: High]
Hardware creation and manufacture of replacement components.
+ Example Instances
During shipment the attacker is able to intercept a system that has been purchased by the victim, and replaces a math processor card that functions just like the original, but contains advanced malicious capability. Once deployed, the system functions as normal, but allows for the attacker to remotely communicate with the system and use it as a conduit for additional compromise within the victim's environment.
+ 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 Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: December 17, 2020