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CAPEC-670: Software Development Tools Maliciously Altered

Attack Pattern ID: 670
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary with the ability to alter tools used in a development environment causes software to be developed with maliciously modified tools. Such tools include requirements management and database tools, software design tools, configuration management tools, compilers, system build tools, and software performance testing and load testing tools. The adversary then carries out malicious acts once the software is deployed including malware infection of other systems to support further compromises.
+ Likelihood Of Attack

Low

+ Typical Severity

High

+ 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.
NatureTypeIDName
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
CanPrecedeStandard 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.669Alteration of a Software Update
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
+ Prerequisites
An adversary would need to have access to a targeted developer’s development environment and in particular to tools used to design, create, test and manage software, where the adversary could ensure malicious code is included in software packages built through alteration or substitution of tools in the environment used in the development of software.
+ Skills Required
[Level: High]
Ability to leverage common delivery mechanisms (e.g., email attachments, removable media) to infiltrate a development environment to gain access to software development tools for the purpose of malware insertion into an existing tool or replacement of an existing tool with a maliciously altered copy.
+ 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.
ScopeImpactLikelihood
Integrity
Execute Unauthorized Commands
Access Control
Gain Privileges
Confidentiality
Modify Data
Read Data
+ Mitigations
Have a security concept of operations (CONOPS) for the development environment that includes: Maintaining strict security administration and configuration management of requirements management and database tools, software design tools, configuration management tools, compilers, system build tools, and software performance testing and load testing tools.
Avoid giving elevated privileges to developers.
+ Example Instances
An adversary with access to software build tools inside an Integrated Development Environment IDE alters a script used for downloading dependencies from a dependent code repository where the script has been changed to include malicious code implanted in the repository by the adversary.
+ References
[REF-660] Melinda Reed, John F. Miller and Paul Popick. "Supply Chain Attack Patterns: Framework and Catalog". Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. 2014-08. <https://docplayer.net/13041016-Supply-chain-attack-patterns-framework-and-catalog.html>. URL validated: 2021-06-22.
[REF-661] John F. Miller. "Supply Chain Attack Framework and Attack Patterns". The MITRE Corporation. 2013-12. <http://www.mitre.org/sites/default/files/publications/supply-chain-attack-framework-14-0228.pdf>. URL validated: 2021-06-22.
[REF-667] "Highly Evasive Attacker Leverages SolarWinds Supply Chain to Compromise Multiple Global Victims With SUNBURST Backdoor". Schneier on Security. 2020-12-13. <https://www.fireeye.com/blog/threat-research/2020/12/evasive-attacker-leverages-solarwinds-supply-chain-compromises-with-sunburst-backdoor.html>. URL validated: 2021-06-24.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2021-06-24CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: June 24, 2021