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-366: Race Condition within a Thread

Weakness ID: 366
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
If two threads of execution use a resource simultaneously, there exists the possibility that resources may be used while invalid, in turn making the state of execution undefined.
+ 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 "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
+ 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

C: (Undetermined Prevalence)

C++: (Undetermined Prevalence)

Java: (Undetermined Prevalence)

C#: (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
Other

Technical Impact: Alter Execution Logic; Unexpected State

The main problem is that -- if a lock is overcome -- data could be altered in a bad state.
+ Likelihood Of Exploit
Medium
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following example demonstrates the weakness.

(bad)
Example Language:
int foo = 0;
int storenum(int num) {
static int counter = 0;
counter++;
if (num > foo) foo = num;
return foo;

}
(bad)
Example Language: Java 
public classRace {
static int foo = 0;
public static void main() {

new Threader().start();
foo = 1;

}
public static class Threader extends Thread {

public void run() {
System.out.println(foo);

}

}

}
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Use locking functionality. This is the recommended solution. Implement some form of locking mechanism around code which alters or reads persistent data in a multithreaded environment.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Create resource-locking sanity checks. If no inherent locking mechanisms exist, use flags and signals to enforce your own blocking scheme when resources are being used by other threads of execution.
+ Affected Resources
  • System Process
+ 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.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CLASPRace condition within a thread
CERT C Secure CodingCON32-CCWE More AbstractPrevent data races when accessing bit-fields from multiple threads
CERT C Secure CodingCON40-CCWE More AbstractDo not refer to an atomic variable twice in an expression
CERT C Secure CodingCON43-CExactDo not allow data races in multithreaded code
CERT Java Secure CodingVNA02-JEnsure that compound operations on shared variables are atomic
CERT Java Secure CodingVNA03-JDo not assume that a group of calls to independently atomic methods is atomic
Software Fault PatternsSFP19Missing Lock
+ References
[REF-44] Michael Howard, David LeBlanc and John Viega. "24 Deadly Sins of Software Security". "Sin 13: Race Conditions." Page 205. McGraw-Hill. 2010.
[REF-62] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 13, "Race Conditions", Page 759.. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
CLASP
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-11-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2010-09-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations, Relationships
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-09-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings

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Page Last Updated: November 14, 2017