Array Declared Public, Final, and Static

The program declares an array public, final, and static, which is not sufficient to prevent the array's contents from being modified.


Description

Because arrays are mutable objects, the final constraint requires that the array object itself be assigned only once, but makes no guarantees about the values of the array elements. Since the array is public, a malicious program can change the values stored in the array. As such, in most cases an array declared public, final and static is a bug.

Background

Mobile code, in this case a Java Applet, is code that is transmitted across a network and executed on a remote machine. Because mobile code developers have little if any control of the environment in which their code will execute, special security concerns become relevant. One of the biggest environmental threats results from the risk that the mobile code will run side-by-side with other, potentially malicious, mobile code. Because all of the popular web browsers execute code from multiple sources together in the same JVM, many of the security guidelines for mobile code are focused on preventing manipulation of your objects' state and behavior by adversaries who have access to the same virtual machine where your program is running.

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 Java Applet code mistakenly declares an array public, final and static.

public final class urlTool extends Applet {
  public final static URL[] urls;
  ...
}

See Also

SFP Secondary Cluster: Unexpected Entry Points

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Unexpected Entry Points cluster.

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.

Weaknesses Introduced During Implementation

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

Weaknesses in Software Written in Java

This view (slice) covers issues that are found in Java programs that are not common to all languages.


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