Non-exit on Failed Initialization

The software does not exit or otherwise modify its operation when security-relevant errors occur during initialization, such as when a configuration file has a format error, which can cause the software to execute in a less secure fashion than intended by the administrator.


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

The following code intends to limit certain operations to the administrator only.

$username = GetCurrentUser();
$state = GetStateData($username);
if (defined($state)) {
  $uid = ExtractUserID($state);
}

# do stuff

if ($uid == 0) {
  DoAdminThings();
}

If the application is unable to extract the state information - say, due to a database timeout - then the $uid variable will not be explicitly set by the programmer. This will cause $uid to be regarded as equivalent to "0" in the conditional, allowing the original user to perform administrator actions. Even if the attacker cannot directly influence the state data, unexpected errors could cause incorrect privileges to be assigned to a user just by accident.

See Also

SFP Secondary Cluster: Incorrect Exception Behavior

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Incorrect Exception Behavior cluster (SFP6).

Initialization and Cleanup Errors

Weaknesses in this category occur in behaviors that are used for initialization and breakdown.

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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