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CWE-1193: Power-On of Untrusted Execution Core Before Enabling Fabric Access Control

Weakness ID: 1193
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The product enables components that contain untrusted firmware before memory and fabric access controls have been enabled.
+ Extended Description

After initial reset, System-on-Chip (SoC) fabric access controls and other security features need to be programmed by trusted firmware as part of the boot sequence. If untrusted IPs or peripheral microcontrollers are enabled first, then the untrusted component can master transactions on the hardware bus and target memory or other assets to compromise the SoC boot firmware.

+ 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)
ChildOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More specific than a Pillar Weakness, but more general than a Base Weakness. Class level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 1 or 2 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, and resource.696Incorrect Behavior Order
+ Relevant to the view "Hardware Design" (CWE-1194)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1196Security Flow Issues
+ 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.

Access Control

Technical Impact: Bypass Protection Mechanism

An untrusted component can master transactions on the HW bus and target memory or other assets to compromise the SoC boot firmware.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

The boot sequence should enable fabric access controls and memory protections before enabling third-party hardware IPs and peripheral microcontrollers that use untrusted firmware.

+ References
[REF-1130] Mark Ermolov, Positive Technologies. "Intel x86 Root of Trust: loss of trust". 2020-03-05. <>.
[REF-1042] Maximillian Dornseif. "Owned by an iPod". 2004. <>.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2019-10-15Arun Kanuparthi, Hareesh Khattri, Parbati Kumar Manna, Narasimha Kumar V MangipudiIntel Corporation
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2020-08-20CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Related_Attack_Patterns
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Page Last Updated: March 15, 2021