7PK - Time and State

A category in the Common Weakness Enumeration published by The MITRE Corporation.


Categories in the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) group entries based on some common characteristic or attribute.

This category represents one of the phyla in the Seven Pernicious Kingdoms vulnerability classification. It includes weaknesses related to the improper management of time and state in an environment that supports simultaneous or near-simultaneous computation by multiple systems, processes, or threads. According to the authors of the Seven Pernicious Kingdoms, "Distributed computation is about time and state. That is, in order for more than one component to communicate, state must be shared, and all that takes time. Most programmers anthropomorphize their work. They think about one thread of control carrying out the entire program in the same way they would if they had to do the job themselves. Modern computers, however, switch between tasks very quickly, and in multi-core, multi-CPU, or distributed systems, two events may take place at exactly the same time. Defects rush to fill the gap between the programmer's model of how a program executes and what happens in reality. These defects are related to unexpected interactions between threads, processes, time, and information. These interactions happen through shared state: semaphores, variables, the file system, and, basically, anything that can store information."


Insecure Temporary File

Creating and using insecure temporary files can leave application and system data vulnerable to attack.

J2EE Bad Practices: Direct Use of Threads

Thread management in a Web application is forbidden in some circumstances and is always highly error prone.

J2EE Bad Practices: Use of System.exit()

A J2EE application uses System.exit(), which also shuts down its container.

Session Fixation

Authenticating a user, or otherwise establishing a new user session, without invalidating any existing session identifier gives an attacker the opportunity to steal au...

Signal Handler Race Condition

The software uses a signal handler that introduces a race condition.

Time-of-check Time-of-use (TOCTOU) Race Condition

The software checks the state of a resource before using that resource, but the resource's state can change between the check and the use in a way that invalidates the...

Unrestricted Externally Accessible Lock

The software properly checks for the existence of a lock, but the lock can be externally controlled or influenced by an actor that is outside of the intended sphere of...


Seven Pernicious Kingdoms

This view (graph) organizes weaknesses using a hierarchical structure that is similar to that used by Seven Pernicious Kingdoms.

See Also

  1. Seven Pernicious Kingdoms: A Taxonomy of Software Security Errors

    NIST Workshop on Software Security Assurance Tools Techniques and Metrics

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