Several of the classical threats to network protocols are applicable to the network management problem and therefore would be applicable to any SNMPv2 security protocol. Other threats are not applicable to the network management problem. This section discusses principal threats, secondary threats, and threats which are of lesser importance.
The principal threats against which any SNMPv2 security protocol should provide protection are:
The SNMPv2 protocol provides the means for management stations to interrogate and to manipulate the value of objects in a managed agent. The modification threat is the danger that some party may alter in-transit messages generated by an authorized party in such a way as to effect unauthorized management operations, including falsifying the value of an object.
The SNMPv2 administrative model includes an access control model. Access control necessarily depends on knowledge of the origin of a message. The masquerade threat is the danger that management operations not authorized for some party may be attempted by that party by assuming the identity of another party that has the appropriate authorizations.
Two secondary threats are also identified. The security protocols defined in this memo do provide protection against:
The SNMPv2 protocol is based upon a connectionless transport service which may operate over any subnetwork service. The re-ordering, delay or replay of messages can and does occur through the natural operation of many such subnetwork services. The message stream modification threat is the danger that messages may be maliciously re-ordered, delayed or replayed to an extent which is greater than can occur through the natural operation of a subnetwork service, in order to effect unauthorized management operations.
The disclosure threat is the danger of eavesdropping on the exchanges between managed agents and a management station. Protecting against this threat is mandatory when the SNMPv2 is used to create new SNMPv2 parties  on which subsequent secure operation might be based. Protecting against the disclosure threat may also be required as a matter of local policy.
There are at least two threats that a SNMPv2 security protocol need not protect against. The security protocols defined in this memo do not provide protection against:
A SNMPv2 security protocol need not attempt to address the broad range of attacks by which service to authorized parties is denied. Indeed, such denial-of-service attacks are in many cases indistinguishable from the type of network failures with which any viable network management protocol must cope as a matter of course.
In addition, a SNMPv2 security protocol need not attempt to address traffic analysis attacks. Indeed, many traffic patterns are predictable - agents may be managed on a regular basis by a relatively small number of management stations - and therefore there is no significant advantage afforded by protecting against traffic analysis.