Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

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CWE-433: Unparsed Raw Web Content Delivery

Weakness ID: 433
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software stores raw content or supporting code under the web document root with an extension that is not specifically handled by the server.
+ Extended Description
If code is stored in a file with an extension such as ".inc" or ".pl", and the web server does not have a handler for that extension, then the server will likely send the contents of the file directly to the requester without the pre-processing that was expected. When that file contains sensitive information such as database credentials, this may allow the attacker to compromise the application or associated components.
+ 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)
ChildOfVariantVariant219Sensitive Data Under Web Root
CanFollowBaseBase178Improper Handling of Case Sensitivity
CanFollowBaseBase430Deployment of Wrong Handler
CanFollowBaseBase431Missing Handler
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
MemberOfCategoryCategory429Handler 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.

+ 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.


Technical Impact: Read Application Data

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following code uses an include file to store database credentials:

(bad code)
Example Language: PHP 
$dbName = 'usersDB';
$dbPassword = 'skjdh#67nkjd3$3$';


(bad code)
Example Language: PHP 
$db = connectToDB($dbName, $dbPassword);
$db.authenticateUser($username, $password);

If the server does not have an explicit handler set for .inc files it may send the contents of to an attacker without pre-processing, if the attacker requests the file directly. This will expose the database name and password.

+ Observed Examples
".inc" file stored under web document root and returned unparsed by the server
".inc" file stored under web document root and returned unparsed by the server
".inc" file stored under web document root and returned unparsed by the server
direct request to .pl file leaves it unparsed
.inc file
unparsed config.conf file
Chain: uppercase file extensions causes web server to return script source code instead of executing the script.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Perform a type check before interpreting files.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Do not store sensitive information in files which may be misinterpreted.
+ 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.
MemberOfCategoryCategory963SFP Secondary Cluster: Exposed Data
+ Notes


This overlaps direct requests (CWE-425), alternate path (CWE-424), permissions (CWE-275), and sensitive file under web root (CWE-219).
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERUnparsed Raw Web Content Delivery
+ References
[REF-62] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 3, "File Handlers", Page 74. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes, Relationship_Notes
2010-09-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Potential_Mitigations
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Observed_Examples

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018