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-394: Unexpected Status Code or Return Value

Weakness ID: 394
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software does not properly check when a function or operation returns a value that is legitimate for the function, but is not expected by the software.
+ 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
ChildOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.754Improper Check for Unusual or Exceptional Conditions
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.389Error Conditions, Return Values, Status Codes
+ 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
Other

Technical Impact: Unexpected State; Alter Execution Logic

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Certain packets (zero byte and other lengths) cause a recvfrom call to produce an unexpected return code that causes a server's listening loop to exit.
Unchecked return code from recv() leads to infinite loop.
Kernel function does not properly handle when a null is returned by a function call, causing it to call another function that it shouldn't.
Memory not properly cleared when read() function call returns fewer bytes than expected.
Bypass access restrictions when connecting from IP whose DNS reverse lookup does not return a hostname.
Bypass access restrictions when connecting from IP whose DNS reverse lookup does not return a hostname.
Game server doesn't check return values for functions that handle text strings and associated size values.
Resultant infinite loop when function call returns -1 value.
+ 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.728OWASP Top Ten 2004 Category A7 - Improper Error Handling
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.962SFP Secondary Cluster: Unchecked Status Condition
+ Notes

Relationship

Usually primary, but can be resultant from issues such as behavioral change or API abuse. This can produce resultant vulnerabilities.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERUnexpected Status Code or Return Value
Software Fault PatternsSFP4Unchecked Status Condition
CERT Perl Secure CodingEXP00-PLImpreciseDo not return undef
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
PLOVER
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2009-12-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Other_Notes, Relationship_Notes
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Taxonomy_Mappings

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Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018