2021 CWE Most Important Hardware Weaknesses

MITRE has just released the list of most important hardware weaknesses that lead to security vulnerabilities.


“The 2021 CWE™ Most Important Hardware Weaknesses is the first of its kind and the result of collaboration within the Hardware CWE Special Interest Group (SIG), a community forum for individuals representing organizations within hardware design, manufacturing, research, and security domains, as well as academia and government.

The goals for the 2021 Hardware List are to drive awareness of common hardware weaknesses through CWE, and to prevent hardware security issues at the source by educating designers and programmers on how to eliminate important mistakes early in the product development lifecycle. Security analysts and test engineers can use the list in preparing plans for security testing and evaluation. Hardware consumers could use the list to help them to ask for more secure hardware products from their suppliers. Finally, managers and CIOs can use the list as a measuring stick of progress in their efforts to secure their hardware and ascertain where to direct resources to develop security tools or automation processes that mitigate a wide class of vulnerabilities by eliminating the underling root cause.

MITRE maintains the CWE web site with the support of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), presenting detailed descriptions of the 2021 Hardware List weaknesses along with authoritative guidance for mitigating and avoiding them. The CWE site contains data on more than 900 programming, design, and architecture weaknesses that can lead to exploitable vulnerabilities. “


2021 CWE Most Important Hardware Weaknesses

Link Weakness
CWE-1189 Improper Isolation of Shared Resources on System-on-a-Chip (SoC)
CWE-1191 On-Chip Debug and Test Interface With Improper Access Control
CWE-1231 Improper Prevention of Lock Bit Modification
CWE-1233 Security-Sensitive Hardware Controls with Missing Lock Bit Protection
CWE-1240 Use of a Cryptographic Primitive with a Risky Implementation
CWE-1244 Internal Asset Exposed to Unsafe Debug Access Level or State
CWE-1256 Improper Restriction of Software Interfaces to Hardware Features
CWE-1260 Improper Handling of Overlap Between Protected Memory Ranges
CWE-1272 Sensitive Information Uncleared Before Debug/Power State Transition
CWE-1274 Improper Access Control for Volatile Memory Containing Boot Code
CWE-1277 Firmware Not Updateable
CWE-1300 Improper Protection of Physical Side Channels

Source: The MITRE Corporation’s Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE)

Find more details on the hardware weakness list for 2021 here.

Note, MITRE also publishes the CWE Top-25 Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses on an annual basis.

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