CWE-1222: Insufficient Granularity of Address Regions Protected by Register Locks
The product defines a large address region protected from modification by the same register lock control bit. This results in a conflict between the functional requirement that some addresses need to be writable by software during operation and the security requirement that the system configuration lock bit must be set during the boot process.
Integrated circuits and hardware IPs can expose the device configuration controls that need to be programmed after device power reset by a trusted firmware or software module (commonly set by BIOS/bootloader) and then locked from any further modification. In hardware design, this is commonly implemented using a programmable lock bit which enables/disables writing to a protected set of registers or address regions. When the programmable lock bit is set, the relevant address region can be implemented as a hardcoded value in hardware logic that cannot be changed later.
A problem can arise wherein the protected region definition is not granular enough. After the programmable lock bit has been set, then this new functionality cannot be implemented without change to the hardware design.
The table(s) below shows the weaknesses and high level categories that are related to this weakness. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as PeerOf and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar weaknesses that the user may want to explore.
Relevant to the view "Research Concepts" (CWE-1000)
The different Modes of Introduction provide information about how and when this weakness may be introduced. The Phase identifies a point in the life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.
The listings below show possible areas for which the given weakness could appear. These may be for specific named Languages, Operating Systems, Architectures, Paradigms, Technologies, or a class of such platforms. The platform is listed along with how frequently the given weakness appears for that instance.
Class: Language-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)
Class: OS-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)
Class: Architecture-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)
Class: System on Chip (Undetermined Prevalence)
The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the weakness. The Scope identifies the application security area that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in exploiting this weakness. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a weakness will be exploited to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.
For example, consider a hardware unit with a 32 kilobyte configuration address space where the first 8 kilobyte address contains security sensitive controls that must only be writable by device bootloader. One way to protect the security configuration could be to define a 32 bit system configuration locking register (SYS_LOCK) where each bit lock locks the corresponding 1 kilobyte region.
Example Language: Other
If a register exists within the first kilobyte address range (e.g. SW_MODE, address 0x310) and needs to be software writable at runtime, then this register cannot be written in a securely configured system since SYS_LOCK register lock bit 0 must be set to protect other security settings (e.g. SECURITY_FEATURE_ENABLE, address 0x0004). The only fix would be to change the hardware logic or not set the security lock bit.
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