CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

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ID

CWE-1357: Reliance on Insufficiently Trustworthy Component

Weakness ID: 1357
Abstraction: Class
Structure: Simple
View customized information:
+ Description
The product is built from multiple separate components, but it uses a component that is not sufficiently trusted to meet expectations for security, reliability, updateability, and maintainability.
+ Extended Description

Many modern hardware and software products are built by combining multiple smaller components together into one larger entity, often during the design or architecture phase. For example, a hardware component might be built by a separate supplier, or the product might use an open-source software library from a third party.

Regardless of the source, each component should be sufficiently trusted to ensure correct, secure operation of the product. If a component is not trustworthy, it can produce significant risks for the overall product, such as vulnerabilities that cannot be patched fast enough (if at all); hidden functionality such as malware; inability to update or replace the component if needed for security purposes; hardware components built from parts that do not meet specifications in ways that can lead to weaknesses; etc. Note that a component might not be trustworthy even if it is owned by the product vendor, such as a software component whose source code is lost and was built by developers who left the company, or a component that was developed by a separate company that was acquired and brought into the product's own company.

Note that there can be disagreement as to whether a component is sufficiently trustworthy, since trust is ultimately subjective. Different stakeholders (e.g., customers, vendors, governments) have various threat models and ways to assess trust, and design/architecture choices might make tradeoffs between security, reliability, safety, privacy, cost, and other characteristics.

+ 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.710Improper Adherence to Coding Standards
ParentOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.1104Use of Unmaintained Third Party Components
ParentOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.1329Reliance on Component That is Not Updateable
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.1208Cross-Cutting 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
RequirementsRequirements might include criteria for which the only available solutions are provided by insufficiently trusted components.
Architecture and DesignAn insufficiently trusted component might be selected because it is less expensive to do in-house, requires expertise that is not available in-house, or might allow the product to reach the market faster.
+ 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.

Architectures

Class: Not Architecture-Specific (Undetermined Prevalence)

Technologies

Class: Not Technology-Specific (Undetermined Prevalence)

Class: ICS/OT (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
Other

Technical Impact: Reduce Maintainability

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Chain: network-attached storage (NAS) device has a critical OS command injection (CWE-78) vulnerability that is actively exploited to place IoT devices into a botnet, but some products are "end-of-support" and cannot be patched (CWE-1277). [REF-1097]
+ Potential Mitigations

Phases: Requirements; Architecture and Design; Implementation

For each component, ensure that its supply chain is well-controlled with sub-tier suppliers using best practices. For third-party software components such as libraries, ensure that they are developed and actively maintained by reputable vendors.

Phases: Architecture and Design; Implementation; Integration; Manufacturing

Maintain a Bill of Materials for all components and sub-components of the product. For software, maintain a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM). According to [REF-1247], "An SBOM is a formal, machine-readable inventory of software components and dependencies, information about those components, and their hierarchical relationships."

Phases: Operation; Patching and Maintenance

Continue to monitor changes in each of the product's components, especially when the changes indicate new vulnerabilities, end-of-life (EOL) plans, supplier practices that affect trustworthiness, etc.
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Indirect
(where the weakness is a quality issue that might indirectly make it easier to introduce security-relevant weaknesses or make them more difficult to detect)
+ 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.1367ICS Dependencies (& Architecture): External Physical Systems
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1368ICS Dependencies (& Architecture): External Digital Systems
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1370ICS Supply Chain: Common Mode Frailties
+ Notes

Maintenance

As of CWE 4.10, the name and description for this entry has undergone significant change and is still under public discussion, especially by members of the HW SIG.
+ References
[REF-1212] "A06:2021 - Vulnerable and Outdated Components". OWASP. 2021-09-24. <https://owasp.org/Top10/A06_2021-Vulnerable_and_Outdated_Components/>.
[REF-1246] National Telecommunications and Information Administration. "SOFTWARE BILL OF MATERIALS". <https://www.ntia.gov/SBOM>.
[REF-1247] NTIA Multistakeholder Process on Software Component Transparency Framing Working Group. "Framing Software Component Transparency: Establishing a Common Software Bill of Materials (SBOM)". 2021-10-21. <https://www.ntia.gov/files/ntia/publications/ntia_sbom_framing_2nd_edition_20211021.pdf>.
[REF-1097] Brian Krebs. "Zyxel Flaw Powers New Mirai IoT Botnet Strain". 2020-03-20. <https://krebsonsecurity.com/2020/03/zxyel-flaw-powers-new-mirai-iot-botnet-strain/>.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2022-04-20CWE Content TeamMITRE
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2022-10-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References
2023-01-31CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Description, Maintenance_Notes, Modes_of_Introduction, Name, Potential_Mitigations, Relationships
+ Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2023-01-31Reliance on Uncontrolled Component
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Page Last Updated: January 31, 2023