CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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ID

CWE-224: Obscured Security-relevant Information by Alternate Name

Weakness ID: 224
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software records security-relevant information according to an alternate name of the affected entity, instead of the canonical name.
+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the weaknesses and high level categories that are related to this weakness. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as PeerOf and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar weaknesses that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Research Concepts" (CWE-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass221Information Loss or Omission
+ Relevant to the view "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory1009Audit
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass221Information Loss or Omission
+ Modes Of Introduction

The different Modes of Introduction provide information about how and when this weakness may be introduced. The Phase identifies a point in the software life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

PhaseNote
Architecture and Design
ImplementationREALIZATION: This weakness is caused during implementation of an architectural security tactic.
Operation
+ Applicable Platforms
The listings below show possible areas for which the given weakness could appear. These may be for specific named Languages, Operating Systems, Architectures, Paradigms, Technologies, or a class of such platforms. The platform is listed along with how frequently the given weakness appears for that instance.

Languages

Class: Language-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)

+ Common Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the weakness. The Scope identifies the application security area that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in exploiting this weakness. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a weakness will be exploited to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Non-Repudiation
Access Control

Technical Impact: Hide Activities; Gain Privileges or Assume Identity

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

This code prints the contents of a file if a user has permission.

(bad code)
Example Language: PHP 
function readFile($filename){
$user = getCurrentUser();
$realFile = $filename;
//resolve file if its a symbolic link

if(is_link($filename)){
$realFile = readlink($filename);

}

if(fileowner($realFile) == $user){
echo file_get_contents($realFile);
return;

}
else{
echo 'Access denied';
writeLog($user . ' attempted to access the file '. $filename . ' on '. date('r'));

}

}

While the code logs a bad access attempt, it logs the user supplied name for the file, not the canonicalized file name. An attacker can obscure their target by giving the script the name of a link to the file they are attempting to access. Also note this code contains a race condition between the is_link() and readlink() functions (CWE-363).

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Attacker performs malicious actions on a hard link to a file, obscuring the real target file.
+ Memberships
This MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CWE Categories and Views that reference this weakness as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a weakness fits within the context of external information sources.
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory997SFP Secondary Cluster: Information Loss
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERObscured Security-relevant Information by Alternate Name
+ References
[REF-7] Michael Howard and David LeBlanc. "Writing Secure Code". 2nd Edition. Microsoft Press. 2002-12-04. <https://www.microsoft.com/mspress/books/toc/5957.aspx>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
PLOVER
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Demonstrative_Examples, Modes_of_Introduction, References, Relationships

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018