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CAPEC-70: Try Common or Default Usernames and Passwords

Attack Pattern ID: 70
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An adversary may try certain common or default usernames and passwords to gain access into the system and perform unauthorized actions. An adversary may try an intelligent brute force using empty passwords, known vendor default credentials, as well as a dictionary of common usernames and passwords. Many vendor products come preconfigured with default (and thus well-known) usernames and passwords that should be deleted prior to usage in a production environment. It is a common mistake to forget to remove these default login credentials. Another problem is that users would pick very simple (common) passwords (e.g. "secret" or "password") that make it easier for the attacker to gain access to the system compared to using a brute force attack or even a dictionary attack using a full dictionary.
+ Likelihood Of Attack


+ Typical Severity


+ Relationships

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.

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.49Password Brute Forcing

The table below shows the views that this attack pattern belongs to and top level categories within that view.

+ Prerequisites
The system uses one factor password based authentication.The adversary has the means to interact with the system.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
An adversary just needs to gain access to common default usernames/passwords specific to the technologies used by the system. Additionally, a brute force attack leveraging common passwords can be easily realized if the user name is known.
+ Resources Required
Technology or vendor specific list of default usernames and passwords.
+ Indicators
Many incorrect login attempts are detected by the system.
+ Consequences

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.

Access Control
Gain Privileges
+ Mitigations
Delete all default account credentials that may be put in by the product vendor.
Implement a password throttling mechanism. This mechanism should take into account both the IP address and the log in name of the user.
Put together a strong password policy and make sure that all user created passwords comply with it. Alternatively automatically generate strong passwords for users.
Passwords need to be recycled to prevent aging, that is every once in a while a new password must be chosen.
+ Example Instances
User Bob sets his password to "123" or literally leaves his password blank. If the system does not have password strength enforcement against a sound password policy, this password may be admitted. Passwords like these two examples are two simple and common passwords that are easily able to be guessed by the adversary.
Cisco 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliances (version and earlier) have a default administrator username "root" with a password "password". This allows remote attackers to easily obtain administrative privileges. See also: CVE-2006-5288
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2017-08-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Prerequisites, Attacker_Skills_or_Knowledge_Required, Description Summary, Examples-Instances
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2017-08-04Try Common(default) Usernames and Passwords
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: September 30, 2019