Improper Handling of Missing Values

The software does not handle or incorrectly handles when a parameter, field, or argument name is specified, but the associated value is missing, i.e. it is empty, blank, or null.


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 application has registered to handle a URL when sent an intent:

...
IntentFilter filter = new IntentFilter("com.example.URLHandler.openURL");
MyReceiver receiver = new MyReceiver();
registerReceiver(receiver, filter);
...

public class UrlHandlerReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver {

  @Override
  public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {

    if("com.example.URLHandler.openURL".equals(intent.getAction())) {
      String URL = intent.getStringExtra("URLToOpen");
      int length = URL.length();

    ...
    }

  }

}

The application assumes the URL will always be included in the intent. When the URL is not present, the call to getStringExtra() will return null, thus causing a null pointer exception when length() is called.

See Also

SFP Secondary Cluster: Incorrect Input Handling

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Incorrect Input Handling 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 Implementation

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


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