Resource Depletion through Leak
Attack Pattern ID: 131 (Standard Attack Pattern Completeness: Stub)Typical Severity: MediumStatus: Draft
+ Description


An attacker utilizes a resource leak on the target to deplete the quantity of the resource available to service legitimate requests. Resource leaks most often come in the form of memory leaks where memory is allocated but never released after it has served its purpose, however, theoretically, any other resource that can be reserved can be targeted if the target fails to release the reservation when the reserved resource block is no longer needed. In this attack, the attacker determines what activity results in leaked resources and then triggers that activity on the target. Since some leaks may be small, this may require a large number of requests by the attacker. However, this attack differs from a flooding attack in that the rate of requests is generally not significant. This is because the lost resources due to the leak accumulate until the target is reset, usually by restarting it. Thus, a resource-poor attacker who would be unable to flood the target can still utilize this attack.

Resource depletion through leak differs from resource depletion through allocation in that, in the former, the attacker may not be able to control the size of each leaked allocation, but instead allows the leak to accumulate until it is large enough to affect the target's performance. When depleting resources through allocation, the allocated resource may eventually be released by the target so the attack relies on making sure that the allocation size itself is prohibitive of normal operations by the target.

+ Attack Prerequisites

The target must have a resource leak that the attacker can repeatedly trigger.

+ Resources Required

No special resources are required beyond the ability to trigger the targeted leak.

+ Related Weaknesses
CWE-IDWeakness NameWeakness Relationship Type
404Improper Resource Shutdown or ReleaseTargeted
+ Related Attack Patterns
NatureTypeIDNameDescriptionView(s) this relationship pertains toView\(s\)
ChildOfCategoryCategory119Resource Depletion 
Mechanism of Attack (primary)1000