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Common Weakness Enumeration

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ID

CWE-325: Missing Cryptographic Step

Weakness ID: 325
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
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+ Description
The product does not implement a required step in a cryptographic algorithm, resulting in weaker encryption than advertised by the algorithm.
+ 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
ChildOfClassClass - 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.573Improper Following of Specification by Caller
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.358Improperly Implemented Security Check for Standard
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.310Cryptographic Issues
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.1205Security Primitives and Cryptography Issues
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
+ 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
ImplementationDevelopers sometimes omit "expensive" (resource-intensive) steps in order to improve performance, especially in devices with limited memory or slower CPUs. This step may be taken under a mistaken impression that the step is unnecessary for the cryptographic algorithm.
RequirementsThis issue may happen when the requirements for the cryptographic algorithm are not clearly stated.
+ 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)

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
Access Control

Technical Impact: Bypass Protection Mechanism

Confidentiality
Integrity

Technical Impact: Read Application Data; Modify Application Data

Accountability
Non-Repudiation

Technical Impact: Hide Activities

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The example code is taken from the HMAC engine inside the buggy OpenPiton SoC of HACK@DAC'21 [REF-1358]. HAMC is a message authentication code (MAC) that uses both a hash and a secret crypto key. The HMAC engine in HACK@DAC SoC uses the SHA-256 module for the calculation of the HMAC for 512 bits messages.

(bad code)
Example Language: Verilog 
logic [511:0] bigData;
...

hmac hmac(
.clk_i(clk_i),
.rst_ni(rst_ni && ~rst_4),
.init_i(startHash && ~startHash_r),
.key_i(key),
.ikey_hash_i(ikey_hash),
.okey_hash_i(okey_hash),
.key_hash_bypass_i(key_hash_bypass),
.message_i(bigData),
.hash_o(hash),
.ready_o(ready),
.hash_valid_o(hashValid)

However, this HMAC engine cannot handle messages that are longer than 512 bits. Moreover, a complete HMAC will contain an iterate hash function that breaks up a message into blocks of a fixed size and iterates over them with a compression function (e.g., SHA-256). Therefore, the implementation of the HMAC in OpenPiton SoC is incomplete. Such HMAC engines will not be used in real-world applications as the messages will usually be longer than 512 bits. For instance, OpenTitan offers a comprehensive HMAC implementation that utilizes a FIFO for temporarily storing the truncated message, as detailed in [REF-1359].

To mitigate this, implement the iterative function to break up a message into blocks of a fixed size.

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Missing challenge-response step allows authentication bypass using public key.
+ Functional Areas
  • Cryptography
+ 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.719OWASP Top Ten 2007 Category A8 - Insecure Cryptographic Storage
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.720OWASP Top Ten 2007 Category A9 - Insecure Communications
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.934OWASP Top Ten 2013 Category A6 - Sensitive Data Exposure
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.958SFP Secondary Cluster: Broken Cryptography
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1029OWASP Top Ten 2017 Category A3 - Sensitive Data Exposure
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.1366ICS Communications: Frail Security in Protocols
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1402Comprehensive Categorization: Encryption
+ 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.
+ Notes

Relationship

Overlaps incomplete/missing security check.

Relationship

Can be resultant.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERMissing Required Cryptographic Step
OWASP Top Ten 2007A8CWE More SpecificInsecure Cryptographic Storage
OWASP Top Ten 2007A9CWE More SpecificInsecure Communications
+ References
[REF-1359] "HMAC HWIP Technical Specification". 2023. <https://opentitan.org/book/hw/ip/hmac/>. URL validated: 2023-10-05.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2006-07-19
(CWE Draft 3, 2006-07-19)
PLOVER
+ Contributions
Contribution DateContributorOrganization
2023-06-21Chen ChenTexas A&M University
suggested demonstrative example
2023-06-21Rahul KandeTexas A&M University
suggested demonstrative example
2023-06-21Jeyavijayan RajendranTexas A&M University
suggested demonstrative example
2023-06-21Shaza ZeitoniTechnical University of Darmstadt
suggested demonstrative example
2023-06-21Mohamadreza RostamiTechnical University of Darmstadt
suggested demonstrative example
2023-06-21Ahmad-Reza SadeghiTechnical University of Darmstadt
suggested demonstrative example
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Functional_Areas, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships, Observed_Example, Relationship_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships
2014-06-23CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
2018-03-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Description, Relationships
2020-08-20CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Description, Modes_of_Introduction, Name
2021-10-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-04-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Time_of_Introduction
2023-06-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Mapping_Notes
2023-10-26CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, References
+ Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2020-08-20Missing Required Cryptographic Step
Page Last Updated: October 26, 2023