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-514: Covert Channel

Weakness ID: 514
Abstraction: Class
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
A covert channel is a path that can be used to transfer information in a way not intended by the system's designers.
+ Extended Description
Typically the system has not given authorization for the transmission and has no knowledge of its occurrence.
+ 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
ChildOfClassClass668Exposure of Resource to Wrong Sphere
ParentOfBaseBase385Covert Timing Channel
ParentOfBaseBase515Covert Storage Channel
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory417Channel and Path Errors
ChildOfClassClass912Hidden Functionality
ParentOfBaseBase385Covert Timing Channel
ParentOfBaseBase515Covert Storage 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
Implementation
Operation
+ 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
Access Control

Technical Impact: Read Application Data; Bypass Protection Mechanism

+ Detection Methods

Architecture or Design Review

According to SOAR, the following detection techniques may be useful:

Cost effective for partial coverage:
  • Inspection (IEEE 1028 standard) (can apply to requirements, design, source code, etc.)

Effectiveness: SOAR Partial

+ 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
MemberOfCategoryCategory968SFP Secondary Cluster: Covert Channel
+ Notes

Theoretical

A covert channel can be thought of as an emergent resource, meaning that it was not an originally intended resource, however it exists due the application's behaviors.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
LandwehrCovert Channel
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
Landwehr
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes, Theoretical_Notes
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2010-04-05CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns, Relationships
2013-02-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Relationships, Theoretical_Notes
2014-06-23CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Detection_Factors, Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018