CAPEC Details
Name Client-Server Protocol Manipulation
Likelyhood of attack Typical severity
High Medium
Summary An adversary takes advantage of weaknesses in the protocol by which a client and server are communicating to perform unexpected actions. Communication protocols are necessary to transfer messages between client and server applications. Moreover, different protocols may be used for different types of interactions. For example, an authentication protocol might be used to establish the identities of the server and client while a separate messaging protocol might be used to exchange data. If there is a weakness in a protocol used by the client and server, an attacker might take advantage of this to perform various types of attacks. For example, if the attacker is able to manipulate an authentication protocol, the attacker may be able spoof other clients or servers. If the attacker is able to manipulate a messaging protocol, the may be able to read sensitive information or modify message contents. This attack is often made easier by the fact that many clients and servers support multiple protocols to perform similar roles. For example, a server might support several different authentication protocols in order to support a wide range of clients, including legacy clients. Some of the older protocols may have vulnerabilities that allow an attacker to manipulate client-server interactions.
Prerequisites The client and/or server must utilize a protocol that has a weakness allowing manipulation of the interaction.
Related Weaknesses
CWE ID Description
CWE-757 Selection of Less-Secure Algorithm During Negotiation ('Algorithm Downgrade')
Related CAPECS
CAPEC ID Description
CAPEC-272 An adversary subverts a communications protocol to perform an attack. This type of attack can allow an adversary to impersonate others, discover sensitive information, control the outcome of a session, or perform other attacks. This type of attack targets invalid assumptions that may be inherent in implementers of the protocol, incorrect implementations of the protocol, or vulnerabilities in the protocol itself.