M.9 Vulnerabilities

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Vulnerabilities are not random events, but follow a pattern. Understanding the pattern of vulnerabilities and attacks can allow one to better understand protection, risk mitigation, and identify vulnerabilities in new contexts. Vulnerability analysis and it's relation to exploit development are core skills for one involved in cyber operations.

Specific topics to be covered in this knowledge unit include, but are not limited to:

  • Vulnerability taxonomies such as CVE, CWE, OSVDB, and CAPEC
  • Buffer overflows
  • Privilege escalation attacks
  • Input validation issues
  • Password weaknesses
  • Trust relationships
  • Race conditions
  • Numeric over/underflows
  • User-space vs. kernel-space vulnerabilities
  • Local vs. remote access

Outcome: Students will possess a thorough understanding of the various types of vulnerabilities (design and/or implementation weaknesses), their underlying causes, their identifying characteristics, the ways in which they are exploited, and potential mitigation strategies. They will also know how to apply fundamental security design principles during system design, development and implementation to minimize vulnerabilities.

Outcome: Students will understand how a vulnerability in a given context may be applied to alternative contexts and to adapt vulnerabilities so that lessons from them can be applied to alternative contexts.