CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
Home > CWE List > CWE- Individual Dictionary Definition (3.1)  
ID

CWE-422: Unprotected Windows Messaging Channel ('Shatter')

Weakness ID: 422
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software does not properly verify the source of a message in the Windows Messaging System while running at elevated privileges, creating an alternate channel through which an attacker can directly send a message to the product.
+ 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 described in an abstract fashion, but with sufficient details to infer specific methods for detection and prevention. More general than a Variant weakness, but more specific than a Class weakness.360Trust of System Event Data
ChildOfBaseBase - a weakness that is described in an abstract fashion, but with sufficient details to infer specific methods for detection and prevention. More general than a Variant weakness, but more specific than a Class weakness.420Unprotected Alternate Channel
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfBaseBase - a weakness that is described in an abstract fashion, but with sufficient details to infer specific methods for detection and prevention. More general than a Variant weakness, but more specific than a Class weakness.420Unprotected Alternate Channel
+ 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 Design
+ 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
Bypass GUI and access restricted dialog box.
Gain privileges via Windows message.
A control allows a change to a pointer for a callback function using Windows message.
Product launches Help functionality while running with raised privileges, allowing command execution using Windows message to access "open file" dialog.
Attacker uses Shatter attack to bypass GUI-enforced protection for CVE-2003-0908.
User can call certain API functions to modify certain properties of privileged programs.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Always verify and authenticate the source of the message.
+ Affected Resources
  • System Process
+ 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
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.953SFP Secondary Cluster: Missing Endpoint Authentication
+ Notes

Relationship

Overlaps privilege errors and UI errors.

Research Gap

Possibly under-reported, probably under-studied. It is suspected that a number of publicized vulnerabilities that involve local privilege escalation on Windows systems may be related to Shatter attacks, but they are not labeled as such.

Alternate channel attacks likely exist in other operating systems and messaging models, e.g. in privileged X Windows applications, but examples are not readily available.

+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERUnprotected Windows Messaging Channel ('Shatter')
Software Fault PatternsSFP30Missing endpoint authentication
+ References
[REF-402] Paget. "Exploiting design flaws in the Win32 API for privilege escalation. Or... Shatter Attacks - How to break Windows". 2002-08. <http://web.archive.org/web/20060115174629/http://security.tombom.co.uk/shatter.html>.
[REF-62] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 2, "Design Review." Page 34. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
[REF-62] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 12, "Shatter Attacks", Page 694. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
+ 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, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Other_Notes, Relationship_Notes, Research_Gaps
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Relationships

More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018