Access Control Check Implemented After Asset is Accessed
A product's hardware-based access control check occurs after the asset has been accessed.
The product implements a hardware-based access control check. The asset should be accessible only after the check is successful. If, however, this operation is not atomic and the asset is accessed before the check is complete, the security of the system may be compromised.
The following examples help to illustrate the nature of this weakness and describe methods or techniques which can be used to mitigate the risk.
Note that the examples here are by no means exhaustive and any given weakness may have many subtle varieties, each of which may require different detection methods or runtime controls.
Assume that the module foo_bar implements a protected register. The register content is the asset. Only transactions made by user id (indicated by signal usr_id) 0x4 are allowed to modify the register contents. The signal grant_access is used to provide access.
This code uses Verilog blocking assignments for data_out and grant_access. Therefore, these assignments happen sequentially (i.e., data_out is updated to new value first, and grant_access is updated the next cycle) and not in parallel. Therefore, the asset data_out is allowed to be modified even before the access control check is complete and grant_access signal is set. Since grant_access does not have a reset value, it will be meta-stable and will randomly go to either 0 or 1.
Flipping the order of the assignment of data_out and grant_access should solve the problem. The correct snippet of code is shown below.
Weaknesses in this category are related to features and mechanisms providing hardware-based isolation and access control (e.g., identity, policy, locking control) of s...
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