CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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ID

CWE-420: Unprotected Alternate Channel

Weakness ID: 420
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software protects a primary channel, but it does not use the same level of protection for an alternate channel.
+ 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 "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory1011Authorize Actors
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
+ 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 software life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

PhaseNote
Architecture and DesignOMISSION: This weakness is caused by missing a security tactic during the architecture and design phase.
Implementation
Operation
+ 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)

+ 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: Gain Privileges or Assume Identity; Bypass Protection Mechanism

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
DB server assumes that local clients have performed authentication, allowing attacker to directly connect to a process to load libraries and execute commands; a socket interface also exists (another alternate channel), so attack can be remote.
Product does not restrict access to underlying database, so attacker can bypass restrictions by directly querying the database.
User can avoid lockouts by using an API instead of the GUI to conduct brute force password guessing.
FTP service can not be disabled even when other access controls would require it.
Windows named pipe created without authentication/access control, allowing configuration modification.
Router management interface spawns a separate TCP connection after authentication, allowing hijacking by attacker coming from the same IP address.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Identify all alternate channels and use the same protection mechanisms that are used for the primary channels.
+ Memberships
This MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CWE Categories and Views that reference this weakness as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a weakness fits within the context of external information sources.
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory956SFP Secondary Cluster: Channel Attack
+ Notes

Relationship

This can be primary to authentication errors, and resultant from unhandled error conditions.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERUnprotected Alternate Channel
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
PLOVER
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Relationship_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2013-07-17CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Potential_Mitigations, Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018