Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

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CWE-487: Reliance on Package-level Scope

Weakness ID: 487
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
Java packages are not inherently closed; therefore, relying on them for code security is not a good practice.
+ Extended Description
The purpose of package scope is to prevent accidental access by other parts of a program. This is an ease-of-software-development feature but not a security feature.
+ 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)
MemberOfCategoryCategory1006Bad Coding Practices
+ 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.


Java (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

Any data in a Java package can be accessed outside of the Java framework if the package is distributed.

Technical Impact: Modify Application Data

The data in a Java class can be modified by anyone outside of the Java framework if the packages is distributed.
+ Likelihood Of Exploit
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following example demonstrates the weakness.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
package math;
public class Lebesgue implements Integration{
public final Static String youAreHidingThisFunction(functionToIntegrate){

return ...;


+ Potential Mitigations

Phases: Architecture and Design; Implementation

Data should be private static and final whenever possible. This will assure that your code is protected by instantiating early, preventing access and tampering.
+ 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
CLASPRelying on package-level scope
CERT Java Secure CodingMET04-JDo not increase the accessibility of overridden or hidden methods
+ 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
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-06-23CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes, Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Relationships
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Relying on Package-level Scope

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018