Empty Synchronized Block

The software contains an empty synchronized block.


An empty synchronized block does not actually accomplish any synchronization and may indicate a troubled section of code. An empty synchronized block can occur because code no longer needed within the synchronized block is commented out without removing the synchronized block.


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 attempts to synchronize on an object, but does not execute anything in the synchronized block. This does not actually accomplish anything and may be a sign that a programmer is wrestling with synchronization but has not yet achieved the result they intend.

synchronized(this) { }

Instead, in a correct usage, the synchronized statement should contain procedures that access or modify data that is exposed to multiple threads. For example, consider a scenario in which several threads are accessing student records at the same time. The method which sets the student ID to a new value will need to make sure that nobody else is accessing this data at the same time and will require synchronization.

public void setID(int ID){
    this.ID = ID;

See Also

SFP Secondary Cluster: Multiple Locks/Unlocks

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Multiple Locks/Unlocks cluster (SFP21).

Concurrency Issues

Weaknesses in this category are related to concurrent use of shared resources.

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

Quality Weaknesses with Indirect Security Impacts

CWE identifiers in this view (slice) are quality issues that only indirectly make it easier to introduce a vulnerability and/or make the vulnerability more difficult t...

Weaknesses Introduced During Implementation

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

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