CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

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ID

CWE-1315: Improper Setting of Bus Controlling Capability in Fabric End-point

Weakness ID: 1315
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The bus controller enables bits in the fabric end-point to allow responder devices to control transactions on the fabric.
+ Extended Description

To support reusability, certain fabric interfaces and end points provide a configurable register bit that allows IP blocks connected to the controller to access other peripherals connected to the fabric. This allows the end point to be used with devices that function as a controller or responder. If this bit is set by default in hardware, or if firmware incorrectly sets it later, a device intended to be a responder on a fabric is now capable of controlling transactions to other devices and might compromise system security.

+ 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
ChildOfPillarPillar - a weakness that is the most abstract type of weakness and represents a theme for all class/base/variant weaknesses related to it. A Pillar is different from a Category as a Pillar is still technically a type of weakness that describes a mistake, while a Category represents a common characteristic used to group related things.284Improper Access Control
+ 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.1203Peripherals, On-chip Fabric, and Interface/IO Problems
+ 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
Architecture and Design
Implementation
System Configuration
+ 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
Access Control

Technical Impact: Modify Memory; Read Memory; Bypass Protection Mechanism

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

A typical, phone platform consists of the main, compute core or CPU, a DRAM-memory chip, an audio codec, a baseband modem, a power-management-integrated circuit (“PMIC”), a connectivity (WiFi and Bluetooth) modem, and several other analog/RF components. The main CPU is the only component that can control transactions, and all the other components are responder-only devices. All the components implement a PCIe end-point to interface with the rest of the platform. The responder devices should have the bus-control-enable bit in the PCIe-end-point register set to 0 in hardware to prevent the devices from controlling transactions to the CPU or other peripherals.

The audio-codec chip does not have the bus-controller-enable-register bit hardcoded to 0. There is no platform-firmware flow to verify that the bus-controller-enable bit is set to 0 in all responders.

Audio codec can now master transactions to the CPU and other platform components. Potentially, it can modify assets in other platform components to subvert system security.

Platform firmware includes a flow to check the configuration of bus-controller-enable bit in all responder devices. If this register bit is set on any of the responders, platform firmware sets it to 0. Ideally, the default value of this register bit should be hardcoded to 0 in RTL. It should also have access control to prevent untrusted entities from setting this bit to become bus controllers.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

For responder devices, the register bit in the fabric end-point that enables the bus controlling capability must be set to 0 by default. This bit should not be set during secure-boot flows. Also, writes to this register must be access-protected to prevent malicious modifications to obtain bus-controlling capability.

Phase: Implementation

For responder devices, the register bit in the fabric end-point that enables the bus controlling capability must be set to 0 by default. This bit should not be set during secure-boot flows. Also, writes to this register must be access-protected to prevent malicious modifications to obtain bus-controlling capability.

Phase: System Configuration

For responder devices, the register bit in the fabric end-point that enables the bus controlling capability must be set to 0 by default. This bit should not be set during secure-boot flows. Also, writes to this register must be access-protected to prevent malicious modifications to obtain bus-controlling capability.
+ Notes

Maintenance

CWE-1315 and CWE-1260 might overlap with respect to protected memory ranges, so this will need some more investigation.
+ References
[REF-1135] Benoit Morgan, Eric Alata, Vincent Nicomette, Mohamed Kaaniche. "Bypassing IOMMU Protection against I/O Attacks". 2016. <https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01419962/document>.
[REF-1136] Colin L. Rothwell. "Exploitation from malicious PCI Express peripherals". 2019. <https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/techreports/UCAM-CL-TR-934.pdf>.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2020-05-19Arun Kanuparthi, Hareesh Khattri, Parbati K. MannaIntel Corporation
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Page Last Updated: March 15, 2021