CAPEC-41: Using Meta-characters in E-mail Headers to Inject Malicious Payloads

Description
This type of attack involves an attacker leveraging meta-characters in email headers to inject improper behavior into email programs. Email software has become increasingly sophisticated and feature-rich. In addition, email applications are ubiquitous and connected directly to the Web making them ideal targets to launch and propagate attacks. As the user demand for new functionality in email applications grows, they become more like browsers with complex rendering and plug in routines. As more email functionality is included and abstracted from the user, this creates opportunities for attackers. Virtually all email applications do not list email header information by default, however the email header contains valuable attacker vectors for the attacker to exploit particularly if the behavior of the email client application is known. Meta-characters are hidden from the user, but can contain scripts, enumerations, probes, and other attacks against the user's system.
Extended Description

Pretexting can also be used to impersonate people in certain jobs and roles that they never themselves have done. In simple form, these attacks can be leveraged to learn information about a target. More complicated iterations may seek to solicit a target to perform some action that assists the adversary in exploiting organizational weaknesses or obtaining access to secure facilities or systems. Pretexting is not a one-size fits all solution. Good information gathering techniques can make or break a good pretext. A solid pretext is an essential part of building trust. If an adversary’s alias, story, or identity has holes or lacks credibility or even the perception of credibility the target will most likely catch on.

Severity :

High

Possibility :

High

Type :

Detailed
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.

  • This attack targets most widely deployed feature rich email applications, including web based email programs.
Skills required

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

  • Low To distribute email
Taxonomy mappings

Mappings to ATT&CK, OWASP and other frameworks.

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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