Reliance on a Single Factor in a Security Decision

A protection mechanism relies exclusively, or to a large extent, on the evaluation of a single condition or the integrity of a single object or entity in order to make a decision about granting access to restricted resources or functionality.


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

Password-only authentication is perhaps the most well-known example of use of a single factor. Anybody who knows a user's password can impersonate that user.

Example Two

When authenticating, use multiple factors, such as "something you know" (such as a password) and "something you have" (such as a hardware-based one-time password generator, or a biometric device).

See Also

SFP Secondary Cluster: Architecture

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Architecture 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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