Improper Removal of Sensitive Information Before Storage or Transfer

The product stores, transfers, or shares a resource that contains sensitive information, but it does not properly remove that information before the product makes the resource available to unauthorized actors.


Description

Resources that may contain sensitive data include documents, packets, messages, databases, etc. While this data may be useful to an individual user or small set of users who share the resource, it may need to be removed before the resource can be shared outside of the trusted group. The process of removal is sometimes called cleansing or scrubbing.

For example, software that is used for editing documents might not remove sensitive data such as reviewer comments or the local pathname where the document is stored. Or, a proxy might not remove an internal IP address from headers before making an outgoing request to an Internet site.

Demonstrations

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

This code either generates a public HTML user information page or a JSON response containing the same user information.

// API flag, output JSON if set
$json = $_GET['json']
$username = $_GET['user']
if(!$json)
{

  $record = getUserRecord($username);
  foreach($record as $fieldName => $fieldValue)
  {

    if($fieldName == "email_address") {


      // skip displaying user emails
      continue;

    }
    else{
      writeToHtmlPage($fieldName,$fieldValue);
    }

  }

}
else
{
  $record = getUserRecord($username);
  echo json_encode($record);
}

The programmer is careful to not display the user's e-mail address when displaying the public HTML page. However, the e-mail address is not removed from the JSON response, exposing the user's e-mail address.

See Also

Limit Access

Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of system resources. Frequently these deal with restricting the amount of resources that are acc...

SFP Secondary Cluster: Exposed Data

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Exposed Data cluster (SFP23).

Information Management Errors

Weaknesses in this category are related to improper handling of sensitive information.

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...

CWE Cross-section

This view contains a selection of weaknesses that represent the variety of weaknesses that are captured in CWE, at a level of abstraction that is likely to be useful t...


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