Selection of Less-Secure Algorithm During Negotiation ('Algorithm Downgrade')

A protocol or its implementation supports interaction between multiple actors and allows those actors to negotiate which algorithm should be used as a protection mechanism such as encryption or authentication, but it does not select the strongest algorithm that is available to both parties.


When a security mechanism can be forced to downgrade to use a less secure algorithm, this can make it easier for attackers to compromise the software by exploiting weaker algorithm. The victim might not be aware that the less secure algorithm is being used. For example, if an attacker can force a communications channel to use cleartext instead of strongly-encrypted data, then the attacker could read the channel by sniffing, instead of going through extra effort of trying to decrypt the data using brute force techniques.

See Also

Encrypt Data

Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of data confidentiality in a system. Frequently these deal with the use of encryption libraries....

SFP Secondary Cluster: Protocol Error

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Protocol Error cluster.

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.

Weaknesses without Software Fault Patterns

CWE identifiers in this view are weaknesses that do not have associated Software Fault Patterns (SFPs), as covered by the CWE-888 view. As such, they represent gaps in...

Weaknesses Introduced During Design

This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during design.

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