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CAPEC-621: Analysis of Packet Timing and Sizes

Attack Pattern ID: 621
Abstraction: Detailed
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+ Description
An attacker may intercept and log encrypted transmissions for the purpose of analyzing metadata such as packet timing and sizes. Although the actual data may be encrypted, this metadata may reveal valuable information to an attacker. Note that this attack is applicable to VOIP data as well as application data, especially for interactive apps that require precise timing and low-latency (e.g. thin-clients).
+ 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.189Black Box Reverse Engineering
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Prerequisites
Use of untrusted communication paths enables an attacker to intercept and log communications, including metadata such as packet timing and sizes.
+ Skills Required
[Level: High]
These attacks generally require sophisticated machine learning techniques and require traffic capture as a prerequisite.
+ 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.
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+ Mitigations
Distort packet sizes and timing at VPN layer by adding padding to normalize packet sizes and timing delays to reduce information leakage via timing.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
(Version 2.7)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
(Version 2.12)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Motivation-Consequences
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018