CAPEC-30: Hijacking a Privileged Thread of Execution

Description
An adversary hijacks a privileged thread of execution by injecting malicious code into a running process. By using a privleged thread to do their bidding, adversaries can evade process-based detection that would stop an attack that creates a new process. This can lead to an adversary gaining access to the process's memory and can also enable elevated privileges. The most common way to perform this attack is by suspending an existing thread and manipulating its memory.
Extended Description

Due to the different responses from open and closed ports, SYN packets can be used to determine the remote state of the port. A TCP SYN ping is also useful for discovering alive hosts protected by a stateful firewall. In cases where a specific firewall rule does not block access to a port, a SYN packet can pass through the firewall to the host and solicit a response from either an open or closed port. When a stateful firewall is present, SYN pings are preferable to ACK pings because a stateful firewall will typically drop all unsolicited ACK packets as they are not part of an existing or new connection. TCP SYN pings often fail when a stateless ACL or firewall is configured to blanket-filter incoming packets to a port. The firewall device will discard any SYN packets to a blocked port. Often, an adversary will alternate between SYN and ACK pings to discover if a host is alive.

Severity :

Very High

Possibility :

Low

Type :

Standard
Relationships with other CAPECs

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

Prerequisites

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

  • The application in question employs a threaded model of execution with the threads operating at, or having the ability to switch to, a higher privilege level than normal users
  • In order to feasibly execute this class of attacks, the adversary must have the ability to hijack a privileged thread. This ability includes, but is not limited to, modifying environment variables that affect the process the thread belongs to, or calling native OS calls that can suspend and alter process memory. This does not preclude network-based attacks, but makes them conceptually more difficult to identify and execute.
Skills required

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

  • High Hijacking a thread involves knowledge of how processes and threads function on the target platform, the design of the target application as well as the ability to identify the primitives to be used or manipulated to hijack the thread.
Taxonomy mappings

Mappings to ATT&CK, OWASP and other frameworks.

Resources required

Related CWE

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.

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