General Circuit and Logic Design Concerns

A category in the Common Weakness Enumeration published by The MITRE Corporation.


Categories in the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) group entries based on some common characteristic or attribute.

Weaknesses in this category are related to hardware-circuit design and logic (e.g., CMOS transistors, finite state machines, and registers) as well as issues related to hardware description languages such as System Verilog and VHDL.


Failure to Disable Reserved Bits

The reserved bits in a hardware design are not disabled prior to production. Typically, reserved bits are used for future capabilities and should not support any funct...

Hardware Internal or Debug Modes Allow Override of Locks

System configuration protection may be bypassed during debug mode.

Hardware Logic Contains Race Conditions

A race condition in the hardware logic results in undermining security guarantees of the system.

Improper Finite State Machines (FSMs) in Hardware Logic

Faulty finite state machines (FSMs) in the hardware logic allow an attacker to put the system in an undefined state, to cause a denial of service (DoS) or gain privile...

Improper Handling of Single Event Upsets

The hardware logic does not effectively handle when single-event upsets (SEUs) occur.

Improper Hardware Lock Protection for Security Sensitive Controls

The product implements a register lock bit protection feature that permits security sensitive controls to modify the protected configuration.

Improper Implementation of Lock Protection Registers

The product incorrectly implements register lock bit protection features such that protected controls can be programmed even after the lock has been set.

Improper Lock Behavior After Power State Transition

Register lock bit protection disables changes to system configuration once the bit is set. Some of the protected registers or lock bits become programmable after power...

Improper Restriction of Write-Once Bit Fields

The hardware design control register "sticky bits" or write-once bit fields are improperly implemented, such that they can be reprogrammed by software.

Incorrect Comparison Logic Granularity

The product's comparison logic is performed over a series of steps rather than across the entire string in one operation. If there is a comparison logic failure on one...

Incorrect Register Defaults or Module Parameters

Hardware description language code incorrectly defines register defaults or hardware IP parameters to insecure values.

Incorrect Selection of Fuse Values

The logic level used to set a system to a secure state relies on a fuse being unblown. An attacker can set the system to an insecure state merely by blowing the fuse.

Race Condition for Write-Once Attributes

A write-once register in hardware design is programmable by an untrusted software component earlier than the trusted software component, resulting in a race condition ...


Hardware Design

This view organizes weaknesses around concepts that are frequently used or encountered in hardware design. Accordingly, this view can align closely with the perspectiv...

Common Weakness Enumeration content on this website is copyright of The MITRE Corporation unless otherwise specified. Use of the Common Weakness Enumeration and the associated references on this website are subject to the Terms of Use as specified by The MITRE Corporation.