An application typically makes calls to functions that are a part of libraries external to the application. These libraries may be part of the operating system or they may be third party libraries. It is possible that the application does not handle situations properly where access to these libraries has been blocked. Depending on the error handling within the application, blocked access to libraries may leave the system in an insecure state that could be leveraged by an attacker.
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.
Determine what external libraries the application accesses.
Block access to the external libraries accessed by the application.
Monitor the behavior of the system to see if it goes into an insecure/inconsistent state.
If the system does go into an insecure/inconsistent state, leverage that to obtain information about the system functionality or data, elevate access control, etc. The rest of this attack will depend on the context and the desired goal.
An application requires access to external libraries.
An attacker has the privileges to block application access to external libraries.
Knowledge of how to block access to libraries, as well as knowledge of how to leverage the resulting state of the application based on the failed call.
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.
Alter Execution Logic
Bypass Protection Mechanism
Ensure that application handles situations where access to APIs in external libraries is not available securely. If the application cannot continue its execution safely it should fail in a consistent and secure fashion.
A web-based system uses a third party cryptographic random number generation library that derives entropy from machine's hardware. This library is used in generation of user session ids used by the application. If the library is inaccessible, the application instead uses a software based weak pseudo random number generation library. An attacker of the system blocks access of the application to the third party cryptographic random number generation library (by renaming it). The application in turn uses the weak pseudo random number generation library to generate session ids that are predictable. An attacker then leverages this weakness to guess a session id of another user to perform a horizontal elevation of privilege escalation and gain access to another user's account.
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.
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
September 30, 2019