CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Weaknesses
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ID

CWE-1300: Improper Protection Against Physical Side Channels

Weakness ID: 1300
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The product is missing protections or implements insufficient protections against information leakage through physical channels such as power consumption, electromagnetic emissions (EME), acoustic emissions, or other physical attributes.
+ Extended Description

Physical properties of the hardware implementation such as power consumption or EME can result in data disclosure even if it is not possible to extract the information in the digital domain. Physical side channels such as power consumption, electromagnetic emissions (EME), and acoustic emissions have been well-studied for decades in the context of breaking implementations of cryptographic algorithms. These side-channels may be easily observed by an attacker with physical access to the device. Power, EME, and acoustic measurements obtained during hardware operation are correlated to data processed by the hardware, enabling recovery of secret keys and data.

+ Relationships

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)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.203Observable Differences in Behavior to Error Inputs
+ Relevant to the view "Hardware Design" (CWE-1194)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1208Cross-Cutting Problems
ChildOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.203Observable Differences in Behavior to Error Inputs
+ Modes Of Introduction

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.

PhaseNote
Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms
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.

Languages

Class: Language-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)

Operating Systems

Class: OS-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)

Architectures

Class: Architecture-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)

Technologies

Class: Technology-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)

+ Common Consequences

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.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Confidentiality

Technical Impact: Read Memory; Read Application Data

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Apply blinding or masking techniques to implementations of cryptographic algorithms.

Phase: Implementation

Add shielding or tamper-resistant protections to the device to increase the difficulty of obtaining measurements of the side-channel.
+ Notes

Maintenance

This entry is still under development and will continue to see updates and content improvements.
+ References
[REF-1117] Paul Kocher, Joshua Jaffe and Benjamin Jun. "Introduction to differential power analysis and related attacks". 1998. <https://www.rambus.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/DPATechInfo.pdf>.
[REF-1118] Dakshi Agrawal, Bruce Archambeault, Josyula R. Rao and Pankaj Rohatgi. "The EM Side-Channel(s)". 2007-08-24. <https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F3-540-36400-5_4.pdf>.
[REF-1119] Daniel Genkin, Adi Shamir and Eran Tromer. "RSA key extraction via low-bandwidth acoustic cryptanalysis". 2014-06-13. <https://www.iacr.org/archive/crypto2014/86160149/86160149.pdf>.
[REF-1120] Colin O’Flynn. "Power Analysis for Cheapskates". 2013-01-24. <https://media.blackhat.com/eu-13/briefings/OFlynn/bh-eu-13-for-cheapstakes-oflynn-wp.pdf>.
[REF-1055] Peter Gutmann. "Data Remanence in Semiconductor Devices". 10th USENIX Security Symposium. 2001-08. <https://www.usenix.org/legacy/events/sec01/full_papers/gutmann/gutmann.pdf>.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2020-05-29Nicole FernTortuga Logic
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Page Last Updated: August 20, 2020