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Common Weakness Enumeration

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ID

CWE-323: Reusing a Nonce, Key Pair in Encryption

Weakness ID: 323
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
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+ Description
Nonces should be used for the present occasion and only once.
+ 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.344Use of Invariant Value in Dynamically Changing Context
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.320Key Management 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.1013Encrypt Data
+ Background Details
Nonces are often bundled with a key in a communication exchange to produce a new session key for each exchange.
+ 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 DesignREALIZATION: This weakness is caused during implementation of an architectural security tactic.
+ 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; Gain Privileges or Assume Identity

Potentially a replay attack, in which an attacker could send the same data twice, could be crafted if nonces are allowed to be reused. This could allow a user to send a message which masquerades as a valid message from a valid user.
+ Likelihood Of Exploit
High
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

This code takes a password, concatenates it with a nonce, then encrypts it before sending over a network:

(bad code)
Example Language:
void encryptAndSendPassword(char *password){
char *nonce = "bad";
...
char *data = (unsigned char*)malloc(20);
int para_size = strlen(nonce) + strlen(password);
char *paragraph = (char*)malloc(para_size);
SHA1((const unsigned char*)paragraph,parsize,(unsigned char*)data);
sendEncryptedData(data)
}

Because the nonce used is always the same, an attacker can impersonate a trusted party by intercepting and resending the encrypted password. This attack avoids the need to learn the unencrypted password.

Example 2

This code sends a command to a remote server, using an encrypted password and nonce to prove the command is from a trusted party:

(bad code)
Example Language: C++ 
String command = new String("some command to execute");
MessageDigest nonce = MessageDigest.getInstance("SHA");
nonce.update(String.valueOf("bad nonce"));
byte[] nonce = nonce.digest();
MessageDigest password = MessageDigest.getInstance("SHA");
password.update(nonce + "secretPassword");
byte[] digest = password.digest();
sendCommand(digest, command)

Once again the nonce used is always the same. An attacker may be able to replay previous legitimate commands or execute new arbitrary commands.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Refuse to reuse nonce values.

Phase: Implementation

Use techniques such as requiring incrementing, time based and/or challenge response to assure uniqueness of nonces.
+ 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.1414Comprehensive Categorization: Randomness
+ 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
CLASPReusing a nonce, key pair in encryption
+ References
[REF-18] Secure Software, Inc.. "The CLASP Application Security Process". 2005. <https://cwe.mitre.org/documents/sources/TheCLASPApplicationSecurityProcess.pdf>.
+ 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 Background_Details, Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
2019-06-20CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Type
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References
2021-10-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-04-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Type
2023-06-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Mapping_Notes
Page Last Updated: June 29, 2023