CAPEC-17: Using Malicious Files

An attack of this type exploits a system's configuration that allows an adversary to either directly access an executable file, for example through shell access; or in a possible worst case allows an adversary to upload a file and then execute it. Web servers, ftp servers, and message oriented middleware systems which have many integration points are particularly vulnerable, because both the programmers and the administrators must be in synch regarding the interfaces and the correct privileges for each interface.
Extended Description

Footprinting is a general term to describe a variety of information gathering techniques, often used by attackers in preparation for some attack. It consists of using tools to learn as much as possible about the composition, configuration, and security mechanisms of the targeted application, system or network. Information that might be collected during a footprinting effort could include open ports, applications and their versions, network topology, and similar information. Although similar to fingerprinting, footprinting aims to get a more holistic view of a system or network, whereas fingerprinting is more targeted to a specific application or operating system. While footprinting is not intended to be damaging (although certain activities, such as network scans, can sometimes cause disruptions to vulnerable applications inadvertently) it may often pave the way for more damaging attacks.

Severity :

Very High

Possibility :


Type :


This table shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern.

  • System's configuration must allow an attacker to directly access executable files or upload files to execute. This means that any access control system that is supposed to mediate communications between the subject and the object is set incorrectly or assumes a benign environment.
Skills required

This table shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern.

  • Low To identify and execute against an over-privileged system interface
Resources required

Ability to communicate synchronously or asynchronously with server that publishes an over-privileged directory, program, or interface. Optionally, ability to capture output directly through synchronous communication or other method such as FTP.

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