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CWE-1283: Mutable Attestation or Measurement Reporting Data

Weakness ID: 1283
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The register contents used for attestation or measurement reporting data to verify boot flow are modifiable by an adversary.
+ Extended Description

A System-on-Chip (SoC) implements secure boot or verified boot. During this boot flow, the SoC often measures the code that it authenticates. The measurement is usually done by calculating the one-way hash of the code binary and extending it to the previous hash. The hashing algorithm should be a Secure One-Way hash function. The final hash, i.e., the value obtained after the completion of the boot flow, serves as the measurement data used in reporting or in attestation. The calculated hash is often stored in registers that can later be read by the party of interest to determine tampering of the boot flow. A common weakness is that the contents in these registers are modifiable by an adversary, thus spoofing the measurement.

+ 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)
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)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1196Security Flow Issues
+ 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.

Architecture and DesignSuch issues can be introduced during hardware architecture or design and can be identified later during Testing or System Configuration phases.
ImplementationIf the access-controls which protecting the reporting registers are misconfigured during implementation, this weakness can arise.
+ 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.


Class: Language-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)

Operating Systems

Class: OS-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)


Class: Architecture-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)


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.


Technical Impact: Read Memory; Read Application Data

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The SoC extends the hash and stores the results in registers. Without protection, an adversary can write their chosen hash values to these registers. Thus, the attacker controls the reported results.

To prevent the above scenario, the registers should have one or more of the following properties:

  1. Should be Read-Only with respect to an adversary
  2. Cannot be extended or modifiable either directly or indirectly (using a trusted agent as proxy) by an adversary
  3. Should have appropriate access controls or protections

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Measurement data should be stored in registers that are read-only or otherwise have access controls that prevent modification by an untrusted agent.

+ Notes


This entry is still in development and will continue to see updates and content improvements.
+ References
[REF-1107] Intel Corporation. "PCIe Device Measurement Requirements". 2018-09. <>.
[REF-1131] John Butterworth, Cory Kallenberg and Xeno Kovah. "BIOS Chronomancy: Fixing the Core Root of Trust for Measurement". 2013-07-31. <>.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2020-04-25Arun 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