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Common Weakness Enumeration

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Home > CWE List > CWE- Individual Dictionary Definition (4.13)  
ID

CWE-1313: Hardware Allows Activation of Test or Debug Logic at Runtime

Weakness ID: 1313
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
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+ Description
During runtime, the hardware allows for test or debug logic (feature) to be activated, which allows for changing the state of the hardware. This feature can alter the intended behavior of the system and allow for alteration and leakage of sensitive data by an adversary.
+ Extended Description

An adversary can take advantage of test or debug logic that is made accessible through the hardware during normal operation to modify the intended behavior of the system. For example, an accessible Test/debug mode may allow read/write access to any system data. Using error injection (a common test/debug feature) during a transmit/receive operation on a bus, data may be modified to produce an unintended message. Similarly, confidentiality could be compromised by such features allowing access to secrets.

+ Relationships
Section HelpThis table 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
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
Section HelpThis table 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 "Hardware Design" (CWE-1194)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1207Debug and Test Problems
+ Modes Of Introduction
Section HelpThe 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.
PhaseNote
Architecture and DesignSuch issues could be introduced during hardware architecture and design and identified later during Testing or System Configuration phases.
ImplementationSuch issues could be introduced during implementation and identified later during Testing or System Configuration phases.
IntegrationSuch issues could be introduced during integration and identified later during Testing or System configuration phases.
+ Applicable Platforms
Section HelpThis listing shows 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: Not Language-Specific (Undetermined Prevalence)

Operating Systems

Class: Not OS-Specific (Undetermined Prevalence)

Architectures

Class: Not Architecture-Specific (Undetermined Prevalence)

Technologies

Class: Not Technology-Specific (Undetermined Prevalence)

+ Common Consequences
Section HelpThis table 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
Integrity
Availability

Technical Impact: Modify Memory; Read Memory; DoS: Crash, Exit, or Restart; DoS: Instability; DoS: Resource Consumption (CPU); DoS: Resource Consumption (Memory); DoS: Resource Consumption (Other); Execute Unauthorized Code or Commands; Gain Privileges or Assume Identity; Bypass Protection Mechanism; Alter Execution Logic; Quality Degradation; Unexpected State; Reduce Performance; Reduce Reliability

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Hardware processor allows activation of test or debug logic at runtime.
Processor allows the activation of test or debug logic at runtime, allowing escalation of privileges
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Insert restrictions on when the hardware's test or debug features can be activated. For example, during normal operating modes, the hardware's privileged modes that allow access to such features cannot be activated. Configuring the hardware to only enter a test or debug mode within a window of opportunity such as during boot or configuration stage. The result is disablement of such test/debug features and associated modes during normal runtime operations.

Phase: Implementation

Insert restrictions on when the hardware's test or debug features can be activated. For example, during normal operating modes, the hardware's privileged modes that allow access to such features cannot be activated. Configuring the hardware to only enter a test or debug mode within a window of opportunity such as during boot or configuration stage. The result is disablement of such test/debug features and associated modes during normal runtime operations.

Phase: Integration

Insert restrictions on when the hardware's test or debug features can be activated. For example, during normal operating modes, the hardware's privileged modes that allow access to such features cannot be activated. Configuring the hardware to only enter a test or debug mode within a window of opportunity such as during boot or configuration stage. The result is disablement of such test/debug features and associated modes during normal runtime operations.
+ Memberships
Section HelpThis 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.1396Comprehensive Categorization: Access Control
+ Vulnerability Mapping Notes

Usage: Allowed

(this CWE ID could be used to map to real-world vulnerabilities)

Reason: Acceptable-Use

Rationale:

This CWE entry is at the Base level of abstraction, which is a preferred level of abstraction for mapping to the root causes of vulnerabilities.

Comments:

Carefully read both the name and description to ensure that this mapping is an appropriate fit. Do not try to 'force' a mapping to a lower-level Base/Variant simply to comply with this preferred level of abstraction.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2020-08-06
(CWE 4.3, 2020-12-10)
Brent ShermanAccellera IP Security Assurance (IPSA) Working Group
+ Contributions
Contribution DateContributorOrganization
2023-06-21Hareesh KhattriIntel Corporation
contributed to observed example
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2022-04-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2023-04-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-06-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Mapping_Notes
2023-10-26CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Observed_Examples
Page Last Updated: October 26, 2023