CAPEC Details
Name SSL Flood
Likelyhood of attack Typical severity
Low High
Summary An adversary may execute a flooding attack using the SSL protocol with the intent to deny legitimate users access to a service by consuming all the available resources on the server side. These attacks take advantage of the asymmetric relationship between the processing power used by the client and the processing power used by the server to create a secure connection. In this manner the attacker can make a large number of HTTPS requests on a low provisioned machine to tie up a disproportionately large number of resources on the server. The clients then continue to keep renegotiating the SSL connection. When multiplied by a large number of attacking machines, this attack can result in a crash or loss of service to legitimate users.
Prerequisites This type of an attack requires the ability to generate a large amount of SSL traffic to send a target server.
Solutions To mitigate this type of an attack, an organization can create rule based filters to silently drop connections if too many are attempted in a certain time period.
Related Weaknesses
CWE ID Description
CWE-770 Allocation of Resources Without Limits or Throttling
Related CAPECS
CAPEC ID Description
CAPEC-125 An adversary consumes the resources of a target by rapidly engaging in a large number of interactions with the target. This type of attack generally exposes a weakness in rate limiting or flow. When successful this attack prevents legitimate users from accessing the service and can cause the target to crash. This attack differs from resource depletion through leaks or allocations in that the latter attacks do not rely on the volume of requests made to the target but instead focus on manipulation of the target's operations. The key factor in a flooding attack is the number of requests the adversary can make in a given period of time. The greater this number, the more likely an attack is to succeed against a given target.
Taxonomy: ATTACK
Entry ID Entry Name
1499.002 Endpoint Denial of Service:Service Exhaustion Flood