An adversary passively sniffs network communications and captures application code bound for an authorized client. Once obtained, they can use it as-is, or through reverse-engineering glean sensitive information or exploit the trust relationship between the client and server. Such code may belong to a dynamic update to the client, a patch being applied to a client component or any such interaction where the client is authorized to communicate with the server.
Likelihood Of Attack
The table below 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.
Standard 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.
Detailed 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.
The attacker sets up a sniffer in the path between the server and the client and watches the traffic.
The attacker sets up a sniffer in the path between the server and the client.
Capturing Application Code Bound During Patching
Attacker knows that the computer/OS/application can request new applications to install, or it periodically checks for an available update. The attacker loads the sniffer set up during Explore phase, and extracts the application code from subsequent communication. The attacker then proceeds to reverse engineer the captured code.
Attacker loads the sniffer to capture the application code bound during a dynamic update.
The attacker proceeds to reverse engineer the captured code.
The attacker must have the ability to place himself in the communication path between the client and server.
The targeted application must receive some application code from the server; for example, dynamic updates, patches, applets or scripts.
The attacker must be able to employ a sniffer on the network without being detected.
The attacker needs to setup a sniffer for a sufficient period of time so as to capture meaningful quantities of code. The presence of the sniffer should not be detected on the network. Also if the attacker plans to employ a man-in-the-middle attack, the client or server must not realize this. Finally, the attacker needs to regenerate source code from binary code if the need be.
The Attacker needs the ability to capture communications between the client being updated and the server providing the update. In the case that encryption obscures client/server communication the attacker will either need to lift key material from the client.
The table below 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.
Design: Encrypt all communication between the client and server.
Implementation: Use SSL, SSH, SCP.
Operation: Use "ifconfig/ipconfig" or other tools to detect the sniffer installed in the network.
Attacker receives notification that the computer/OS/application has an available update, loads a network sniffing tool, and extracts update data from subsequent communication. The attacker then proceeds to reverse engineer the captured stream to gain sensitive information, such as encryption keys, validation algorithms, applications patches, etc..
A Related Weakness relationship associates a weakness with this attack pattern. Each association implies a weakness that must exist for a given attack to be successful. If multiple weaknesses are associated with the attack pattern, then any of the weaknesses (but not necessarily all) may be present for the attack to be successful. Each related weakness is identified by a CWE identifier.
Passively Sniff and Capture Application Code Bound for Authorized Client
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
September 30, 2019