Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

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CWE-325: Missing Required Cryptographic Step

Weakness ID: 325
Abstraction: Base
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

Description Summary

The software does not implement a required step in a cryptographic algorithm, resulting in weaker encryption than advertised by that algorithm.

Extended Description

Cryptographic implementations should follow the algorithms that define them exactly, otherwise encryption can be weaker than expected.

+ Time of Introduction
  • Architecture and Design
  • Requirements
+ Applicable Platforms



+ Modes of Introduction

Developers sometimes omit certain "expensive" (resource-intensive) steps in order to improve performance, especially in devices with limited memory or CPU cycles. This could be done under a mistaken impression that the step is unnecessary for preserving security. Alternately, the developer might adopt a threat model that is inconsistent with that of its consumers by accepting a risk for which the remaining protection seems "good enough."

This issue can be introduced when the requirements for the algorithm are not clearly stated.

+ Common Consequences
Access Control

Technical Impact: Bypass protection mechanism

If the cryptographic algorithm is used for authentication and authorization, then an attacker could gain unauthorized access to the system.


Technical Impact: Read application data; Modify application data

Sensitive data may be compromised by the use of a broken or risky cryptographic algorithm.


Technical Impact: Hide activities

If the cryptographic algorithm is used to ensure the identity of the source of the data (such as digital signatures), then a broken algorithm will compromise this scheme and the source of the data cannot be proven.

+ Observed Examples
Missing challenge-response step allows authentication bypass using public key.
+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfCategoryCategory310Cryptographic Issues
Development Concepts (primary)699
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class573Improper Following of Specification by Caller
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfCategoryCategory719OWASP Top Ten 2007 Category A8 - Insecure Cryptographic Storage
Weaknesses in OWASP Top Ten (2007) (primary)629
ChildOfCategoryCategory720OWASP Top Ten 2007 Category A9 - Insecure Communications
Weaknesses in OWASP Top Ten (2007)629
ChildOfCategoryCategory934OWASP Top Ten 2013 Category A6 - Sensitive Data Exposure
Weaknesses in OWASP Top Ten (2013) (primary)928
ChildOfCategoryCategory958SFP Secondary Cluster: Broken Cryptography
Software Fault Pattern (SFP) Clusters (primary)888
PeerOfWeakness BaseWeakness Base358Improperly Implemented Security Check for Standard
Research Concepts1000
MemberOfViewView884CWE Cross-section
CWE Cross-section (primary)884
+ Relationship Notes

Overlaps incomplete/missing security check.

Can be resultant.

+ Functional Areas
  • Cryptography
+ 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
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
PLOVERExternally Mined
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Description, Functional_Areas, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships, Observed_Example, Relationship_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships
2014-06-23CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships

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Page Last Updated: May 05, 2017