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-346: Origin Validation Error

Weakness ID: 346
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software does not properly verify that the source of data or communication is valid.
+ 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)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory1014Identify Actors
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass284Improper Access Control
ChildOfClassClass345Insufficient Verification of Data Authenticity
+ 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.
+ 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

(Language-Independent classes): (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
Access Control
Other

Technical Impact: Gain Privileges or Assume Identity; Varies by Context

An attacker can access any functionality that is inadvertently accessible to the source.
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

This Android application will remove a user account when it receives an intent to do so:

(bad)
Example Language: Java 
IntentFilter filter = new IntentFilter("com.example.RemoveUser");
MyReceiver receiver = new MyReceiver();
registerReceiver(receiver, filter);

public class DeleteReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver {
@Override
public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {
int userID = intent.getIntExtra("userID");
destroyUserData(userID);

}

}

This application does not check the origin of the intent, thus allowing any malicious application to remove a user. Always check the origin of an intent, or create a whitelist of trusted applications using the manifest.xml file.

Example 2

These Android and iOS applications intercept URL loading within a WebView and perform special actions if a particular URL scheme is used, thus allowing the Javascript within the WebView to communicate with the application:

(bad)
Example Language: Java 
// Android

@Override
public boolean shouldOverrideUrlLoading(WebView view, String url){
if (url.substring(0,14).equalsIgnoreCase("examplescheme:")){
if(url.substring(14,25).equalsIgnoreCase("getUserInfo")){
writeDataToView(view, UserData);
return false;

}
else{
return true;

}

}

}
(bad)
Example Language: Objective-C 
// iOS

-(BOOL) webView:(UIWebView *)exWebView shouldStartLoadWithRequest:(NSURLRequest *)exRequest navigationType:(UIWebViewNavigationType)exNavigationType
{
NSURL *URL = [exRequest URL];
if ([[URL scheme] isEqualToString:@"exampleScheme"])
{
NSString *functionString = [URL resourceSpecifier];
if ([functionString hasPrefix:@"specialFunction"])
{
// Make data available back in webview.
UIWebView *webView = [self writeDataToView:[URL query]];

}
return NO;

}
return YES;

}

A call into native code can then be initiated by passing parameters within the URL:

(attack)
Example Language: JavaScript 
window.location = examplescheme://method?parameter=value

Because the application does not check the source, a malicious website loaded within this WebView has the same access to the API as a trusted site.

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
DNS server can accept DNS updates from hosts that it did not query, leading to cache poisoning
DNS server can accept DNS updates from hosts that it did not query, leading to cache poisoning
DNS server caches glue records received from non-delegated name servers
user ID obtained from untrusted source (URL)
LDAP service does not verify if a particular attribute was set by the LDAP server
product does not sufficiently distinguish external HTML from internal, potentially dangerous HTML, allowing bypass using special strings in the page title. Overlaps special elements.
product records the reverse DNS name of a visitor in the logs, allowing spoofing and resultant XSS.
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Primary
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
Resultant
(where the weakness is typically related to the presence of some other weaknesses)
+ 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.
+ Notes

Maintenance

This entry has some significant overlap with other CWE entries and may need some clarification. See terminology notes.

Terminology

The "Origin Validation Error" term was used by Taimur Aslam in his August 1995 thesis. Although not formally defined, an issue is considered to be an origin validation error if either (1) "an object [accepts] input from an unauthorized subject," or (2) "the system [fails] to properly or completely authenticate a subject." A later section says that an origin validation error can occur when the system (1) "does not properly authenticate a user or process" or (2) "does not properly authenticate the shared data or libraries." The only example provided in the thesis (covered by OSVDB:57615) involves a setuid program running command-line arguments without dropping privileges. So, this definition (and its examples in the thesis) effectively cover other weaknesses such as CWE-287 (Improper Authentication), CWE-285 (Improper Authorization), and CWE-250 (Execution with Unnecessary Privileges). There appears to be little usage of this term today, except in the SecurityFocus vulnerability database, where the term is used for a variety of issues, including web-browser problems that allow violation of the Same Origin Policy and improper validation of the source of an incoming message.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVEROrigin Validation Error
+ References
[REF-324] Taimur Aslam. "A Taxonomy of Security Faults in the UNIX Operating System". 1995-08-01. <http://cwe.mitre.org/documents/sources/ATaxonomyofSecurityFaultsintheUNIXOperatingSystem%5BAslam95%5D.pdf>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
PLOVER
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Relationship_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings, Weakness_Ordinalities
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2010-12-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns, Relationships
2014-02-18CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Common_Consequences, Demonstrative_Examples, Maintenance_Notes, References, Relationship_Notes, Relationships, Terminology_Notes
2014-06-23CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Modes_of_Introduction, References, Relationships

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Page Last Updated: November 14, 2017