CAPEC Details
Name Buffer Overflow in Local Command-Line Utilities
Likelyhood of attack Typical severity
High High
Summary This attack targets command-line utilities available in a number of shells. An attacker can leverage a vulnerability found in a command-line utility to escalate privilege to root.
Prerequisites The target host exposes a command-line utility to the user. The command-line utility exposed by the target host has a buffer overflow vulnerability that can be exploited.
Execution Flow
Step Phase Description Techniques
1 Explore Attacker identifies command utilities exposed by the target host.
2 Experiment On the probing stage, the attacker interacts with the command utility and observes the results of its input. The attacker's goal is to uncover a buffer overflow in the command utility. For instance the attacker may find that input data are not properly validated.
3 Exploit The attacker finds a buffer overflow vulnerability in the command utility and tries to exploit it. They craft malicious code and injects it using the command utility. The attacker can at worst execute remote code on the target host.
Solutions Carefully review the service's implementation before making it available to user. For instance you can use manual or automated code review to uncover vulnerabilities such as buffer overflow. Use a language or compiler that performs automatic bounds checking. Use an abstraction library to abstract away risky APIs. Not a complete solution. Compiler-based canary mechanisms such as StackGuard, ProPolice and the Microsoft Visual Studio /GS flag. Unless this provides automatic bounds checking, it is not a complete solution. Operational: Use OS-level preventative functionality. Not a complete solution. Apply the latest patches to your user exposed services. This may not be a complete solution, especially against a zero day attack. Do not unnecessarily expose services.
Related Weaknesses
CWE ID Description
CWE-20 Improper Input Validation
CWE-74 Improper Neutralization of Special Elements in Output Used by a Downstream Component ('Injection')
CWE-118 Incorrect Access of Indexable Resource ('Range Error')
CWE-119 Improper Restriction of Operations within the Bounds of a Memory Buffer
CWE-120 Buffer Copy without Checking Size of Input ('Classic Buffer Overflow')
CWE-680 Integer Overflow to Buffer Overflow
CWE-697 Incorrect Comparison
CWE-733 Compiler Optimization Removal or Modification of Security-critical Code
Related CAPECS
CAPEC ID Description
CAPEC-100 Buffer Overflow attacks target improper or missing bounds checking on buffer operations, typically triggered by input injected by an adversary. As a consequence, an adversary is able to write past the boundaries of allocated buffer regions in memory, causing a program crash or potentially redirection of execution as per the adversaries' choice.