STRIDE Model of Threat Categories

Microsoft uses a specific model to categorize software security threats. It is called STRIDE. The six letters in STRIDE each represent a particular risk. These are used in security bulletins to describe the nature of a security vulnerability.

  1. Spoofing Identity means illegally obtaining access and use of another person’s authentication information, such as a user name or password, that is, impersonate another user.
  2. Tampering with data means malicious modification of data. An attacker who maliciously changes data is often much harder to detect, and does much more damage, than a smash-and-grab Web site defacer or disk reformatter. Why? First, you might not find the modified data until some time has passed; once you find one tampered item, you’ll have to thoroughly check all the other data on your systems to ensure that nothing else was tampered with.
  3. Repudiation represents the risk that a legitimate transaction will be disowned by one of the participants. Non-repudiation means that it can be verified that the sender and the recipient were, in fact, the parties who claimed to send or receive the message, respectively.
  4. Information disclosure means that an attacker can gain access, without permission, to data that the owner doesn’t want him or her to have.
  5. Denial of service (DoS) means an explicit attempt to prevent legitimate users from using a service or system. It involves the overuse of legitimate resources. You can stop all such attacks by removing the resource used by the attacker, but then real users can’t use the resource either.
  6. Escalation of privilege rmeans an unprivileged user gains privileged access. An example of privilege elevation would be an unprivileged user who contrives a way to be added to the Administrators group.

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