CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
Home > CWE List > CWE- Individual Dictionary Definition (3.1)  
ID

CWE-232: Improper Handling of Undefined Values

Weakness ID: 232
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software does not handle or incorrectly handles when a value is not defined or supported for the associated parameter, field, or argument 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
ChildOfBaseBase - a weakness that is described in an abstract fashion, but with sufficient details to infer specific methods for detection and prevention. More general than a Variant weakness, but more specific than a Class weakness.229Improper Handling of Values
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfBaseBase - a weakness that is described in an abstract fashion, but with sufficient details to infer specific methods for detection and prevention. More general than a Variant weakness, but more specific than a Class weakness.229Improper Handling of Values
+ 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
Implementation
+ 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
Integrity

Technical Impact: Unexpected State

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

In this example, an address parameter is read and trimmed of whitespace.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
String address = request.getParameter("address");
address = address.trim();
String updateString = "UPDATE shippingInfo SET address='?' WHERE email='cwe@example.com'";
emailAddress = con.prepareStatement(updateString);
emailAddress.setString(1, address);

If the value of the address parameter is null (undefined), the servlet will throw a NullPointerException when the trim() is attempted.

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Client crash when server returns unknown driver type.
+ 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
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.851CERT Java Secure Coding Section 06 - Exceptional Behavior (ERR)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.993SFP Secondary Cluster: Incorrect Input Handling
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERUndefined Value Error
CERT Java Secure CodingERR08-JDo not catch NullPointerException or any of its ancestors
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
PLOVER
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Sean EidemillerCigital
added/updated demonstrative examples
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Name
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2013-07-17CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Type
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Relationships
2017-05-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Undefined Value Error
2009-03-10Failure to Handle Undefined Value

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Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018