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CAPEC-691: Spoof Open-Source Software Metadata

Attack Pattern ID: 691
Abstraction: Standard
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

An adversary spoofs open-source software metadata in an attempt to masquerade malicious software as popular, maintained, and trusted.

+ Extended Description

Due to open-source software's popularity, it serves as a desirable attack-vector for adversaries since a single malicious component may result in the exploitation of numerous systems/applications. Adversaries may, therefore, spoof the metadata pertaining to the open-source software in order to trick victims into downloading and using their malicious software. Examples of metadata that may be spoofed include:

  • Owner of the software (e.g., repository or package owner)
  • Author(s) of repository commits
  • Frequency of repository commits
  • Date/Time of repository commits
  • Package or Repository "stars"

Once the malicious software component has been integrated into an underlying application or executed on a system, the adversary is ultimately able to achieve numerous negative technical impacts within the system/application. This often occurs without any indication of compromise.

+ Likelihood Of Attack

Medium

+ 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
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.690Metadata Spoofing
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed 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.692Spoof Version Control System Commit Metadata
ParentOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed 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.693StarJacking
PeerOfDetailed Attack PatternDetailed 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.630TypoSquatting
CanFollowStandard 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.616Establish Rogue Location
CanPrecedeMeta 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.184Software Integrity Attack
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.444Development Alteration
Section HelpThis table shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.
View NameTop Level Categories
Domains of AttackSoftware, Supply Chain
+ Prerequisites
Identification of a popular open-source component whose metadata is to be spoofed.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Medium]
Ability to spoof a variety of software metadata to convince victims the source is trusted.
+ 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
Modify Data
Accountability
Hide Activities
Access Control
Authorization
Execute Unauthorized Commands
Alter Execution Logic
Gain Privileges
+ Mitigations
Before downloading open-source software, perform precursory metadata checks to determine the author(s), frequency of updates, when the software was last updated, and if the software is widely leveraged.
Within package managers, look for conflicting or non-unique repository references to determine if multiple packages share the same repository reference.
Reference vulnerability databases to determine if the software contains known vulnerabilities.
Only download open-source software from reputable hosting sites or package managers.
Only download open-source software that has been adequately signed by the developer(s). For repository commits/tags, look for the "Verified" status and for developers leveraging "Vigilant Mode" (GitHub) or similar modes.
After downloading open-source software, ensure integrity values have not changed.
Before executing or incorporating the software, leverage automated testing techniques (e.g., static and dynamic analysis) to determine if the software behaves maliciously.
+ Example Instances
An adversary provides a malicious open-source library, claiming to provide extended logging features and functionality, and spoofs the metadata with that of a widely used legitimate library. The adversary then tricks victims into including this library in their underlying application. Once the malicious software is incorporated into the application, the adversary is able to manipulate and exfiltrate log data.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Relevant to the ATT&CK taxonomy mapping
Entry IDEntry Name
1195.001Supply Chain Compromise: Compromise Software Dependencies and Development Tools
1195.002Supply Chain Compromise: Compromise Software Supply Chain
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2022-09-29
(Version 3.8)
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: September 29, 2022