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CWE-324: Use of a Key Past its Expiration Date

Weakness ID: 324
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The product uses a cryptographic key or password past its expiration date, which diminishes its safety significantly by increasing the timing window for cracking attacks against that key.
+ Extended Description
While the expiration of keys does not necessarily ensure that they are compromised, it is a significant concern that keys which remain in use for prolonged periods of time have a decreasing probability of integrity. For this reason, it is important to replace keys within a period of time proportional to their strength.
+ 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)
+ Relevant to the view "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
MemberOfCategoryCategory1013Encrypt Data
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
MemberOfCategoryCategory320Key Management Errors
+ 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.

Architecture and DesignREALIZATION: This weakness is caused during implementation of an architectural security tactic.
+ 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.


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.

Access Control

Technical Impact: Bypass Protection Mechanism; Gain Privileges or Assume Identity

The cryptographic key in question may be compromised, providing a malicious user with a method for authenticating as the victim.
+ Likelihood Of Exploit
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following code attempts to verify that a certificate is valid.

(bad code)
Example Language:
if (cert = SSL_get_peer_certificate(ssl)) {
if ((X509_V_OK==foo) || (X509_V_ERRCERT_NOT_YET_VALID==foo))
//do stuff


The code checks if the certificate is not yet valid, but it fails to check if a certificate is past its expiration date, thus treating expired certificates as valid.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Adequate consideration should be put in to the user interface in order to notify users previous to the key's expiration, to explain the importance of new key generation and to walk users through the process as painlessly as possible.
+ 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.
MemberOfCategoryCategory959SFP Secondary Cluster: Weak Cryptography
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CLASPUsing a key past its expiration date
+ References
[REF-44] Michael Howard, David LeBlanc and John Viega. "24 Deadly Sins of Software Security". "Sin 23: Improper Use of PKI, Especially SSL." Page 347. McGraw-Hill. 2010.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-05-27CWE 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
2013-02-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Demonstrative_Examples, Description, Other_Notes
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Using a Key Past its Expiration Date

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018