Only Filtering Special Elements at an Absolute Position

The software receives data from an upstream component, but only accounts for special elements at an absolute position (e.g. "byte number 10"), thereby missing remaining special elements that may exist before sending it to a downstream component.


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 takes untrusted input and uses a substring function to filter a 3-character "../" element located at the 0-index position of the input string. It then appends this result to the /home/user/ directory and attempts to read the file in the final resulting path.

my $Username = GetUntrustedInput();
if (substr($Username, 0, 3) eq '../') {
  $Username = substr($Username, 3);
}
my $filename = "/home/user/" . $Username;
ReadAndSendFile($filename);

Since the if function is only looking for a substring of "../" between the 0 and 2 position, it only removes that specific "../" element. So an input value such as:

../../../etc/passwd

will have the first "../" filtered, resulting in:

../../etc/passwd

This value is then concatenated with the /home/user/ directory:

/home/user/../../etc/passwd

which causes the /etc/passwd file to be retrieved once the operating system has resolved the ../ sequences in the pathname. This leads to relative path traversal (CWE-22).

See Also

Validate Inputs

Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of a system's input validation components. Frequently these deal with sanitizing, neutralizing a...

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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