CWE Version 4.14 Released: What’s New!

The Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) project, a cornerstone in the cybersecurity landscape, has unveiled its latest iteration, version 4.14, introducing significant updates and enhancements to bolster the security of both hardware and software systems.

This release underscores the collaborative effort of industry giants and academic institutions, marking a pivotal advancement in identifying and categorizing security weaknesses.

New Entries and Views

Microprocessor Vulnerabilities in the Spotlight

CWE 4.14 introduces four new entries specifically targeting hardware microarchitectures.

These entries address vulnerabilities related to transient execution, a critical aspect of modern CPU design that has been exploited in notable side-channel attacks such as Meltdown and Spectre.

The new weaknesses are

  • CWE-1420: Exposure of Sensitive Information during Transient Execution
  • CWE-1421: Exposure of Sensitive Information in Shared Microarchitectural Structures during Transient Execution
  • CWE-1422: Exposure of Sensitive Information caused by Incorrect Data Forwarding during Transient Execution
  • CWE-1423: Exposure of Sensitive Information caused by Shared Microarchitectural Predictor State that Influences Transient Execution

These additions highlight the importance of addressing hardware-level security to prevent sensitive data exposure through sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Strengthening Industrial Automation Security

CWE 4.14 also introduces a new view, CWE-1424, focusing on “Weaknesses Addressed by ISA/IEC 62443 Requirements” for industrial automation and control systems (IACS).

This view aligns with the ISA/IEC 62443 standards, providing a framework for identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure systems.

Including this view demonstrates the CWE project’s commitment to enhancing the security posture of industrial systems against emerging threats.

A notable enhancement in this release is the introduction of vulnerability mapping labels on all CWE entry web pages.

These labels categorize CWEs as approved, discouraged, or prohibited from vulnerability root cause mapping, offering users quick access to detailed mapping notes.

This feature aims to streamline the process of identifying and understanding the implications of specific weaknesses, facilitating more effective vulnerability management.

Collaborative Effort and Acknowledgments

The development of CWE 4.14 was a collaborative endeavor, with contributions from industry leaders such as Intel, AMD, and ARM, as well as academic institutions including Texas A&M University and Technical University of Darmstadt.

The CWE Program extends its gratitude to these organizations, as well as the members of the CWE ICS/OT Special Interest Group (ICS/OT SIG) and Hardware CWE Special Interest Group (HW CWE SIG), for their invaluable input and support in preparing this new version.

The release of CWE version 4.14 represents a significant step forward in the ongoing effort to secure digital infrastructure from evolving threats.

By addressing both hardware and software vulnerabilities, enhancing the usability of CWE entries, and aligning with industry standards, this update provides a comprehensive resource for cybersecurity professionals.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the CWE project remains a critical tool in the fight against cyber threats, ensuring that our systems are more resilient against attacks.

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