CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

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ID

CWE-322: Key Exchange without Entity Authentication

Weakness ID: 322
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
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+ Description
The product performs a key exchange with an actor without verifying the identity of that actor.
+ Extended Description
Performing a key exchange will preserve the integrity of the information sent between two entities, but this will not guarantee that the entities are who they claim they are. This may enable an attacker to impersonate an actor by modifying traffic between the two entities. Typically, this involves a victim client that contacts a malicious server that is impersonating a trusted server. If the client skips authentication or ignores an authentication failure, the malicious server may request authentication information from the user. The malicious server can then use this authentication information to log in to the trusted server using the victim's credentials, sniff traffic between the victim and trusted server, etc.
+ 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
ChildOfBaseBase - 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.306Missing Authentication for Critical Function
PeerOfBaseBase - 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.295Improper Certificate Validation
CanPrecedeClassClass - 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.923Improper Restriction of Communication Channel to Intended Endpoints
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 "Software Development" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1211Authentication Errors
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1214Data Integrity Issues
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.320Key Management Errors
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.417Communication Channel Errors
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 "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1010Authenticate Actors
+ 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 DesignOMISSION: This weakness is caused by missing a security tactic during the architecture and design phase.
+ 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)

+ 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
Access Control

Technical Impact: Bypass Protection Mechanism

No authentication takes place in this process, bypassing an assumed protection of encryption.
Confidentiality

Technical Impact: Read Application Data

The encrypted communication between a user and a trusted host may be subject to sniffing by any actor in the communication path.
+ Likelihood Of Exploit
High
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

Many systems have used Diffie-Hellman key exchange without authenticating the entities exchanging keys, allowing attackers to influence communications by redirecting or interfering with the communication path. Many people using SSL/TLS skip the authentication (often unknowingly).

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Ensure that proper authentication is included in the system design.

Phase: Implementation

Understand and properly implement all checks necessary to ensure the identity of entities involved in encrypted communications.
+ 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
MemberOfViewView - a subset of CWE entries that provides a way of examining CWE content. The two main view structures are Slices (flat lists) and Graphs (containing relationships between entries).884CWE Cross-section
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.959SFP Secondary Cluster: Weak Cryptography
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1346OWASP Top Ten 2021 Category A02:2021 - Cryptographic Failures
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.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CLASPKey exchange without entity authentication
+ References
[REF-18] Secure Software, Inc.. "The CLASP Application Security Process". 2005. <https://cwe.mitre.org/documents/sources/TheCLASPApplicationSecurityProcess.pdf>.
[REF-44] Michael Howard, David LeBlanc and John Viega. "24 Deadly Sins of Software Security". "Sin 23: Improper Use of PKI, Especially SSL." Page 347. McGraw-Hill. 2010.
[REF-62] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 2, "Untrustworthy Credentials", Page 37. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2006-07-19
(CWE Draft 3, 2006-07-19)
CLASP
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-10-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
clarified the description
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2013-02-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2013-07-17CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Demonstrative_Examples, Description, References, Relationships
2021-10-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-01-31CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Relationships
2023-04-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-06-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Mapping_Notes
Page Last Updated: June 29, 2023