Incomplete List of Disallowed Inputs

The product implements a protection mechanism that relies on a list of inputs (or properties of inputs) that are not allowed by policy or otherwise require other action to neutralize before additional processing takes place, but the list is incomplete, leading to resultant weaknesses.


Developers often try to protect their products against malicious input by performing tests against inputs that are known to be bad, such as special characters that can invoke new commands. However, such lists often only account for the most well-known bad inputs. Attackers may be able to find other malicious inputs that were not expected by the developer, allowing them to bypass the intended protection mechanism.


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.

Example One

The following code attempts to stop XSS attacks by removing all occurences of "script" in an input string.

public String removeScriptTags(String input, String mask) {
  return input.replaceAll("script", mask);

Because the code only checks for the lower-case "script" string, it can be easily defeated with upper-case script tags.

See Also

Data Validation Issues

Weaknesses in this category are related to a software system's components for input validation, output validation, or other kinds of validation. Validation is a freque...

SFP Secondary Cluster: Tainted Input to Command

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Tainted Input to Command cluster (SFP24).

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 Implementation

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

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.