CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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ID

CWE-488: Exposure of Data Element to Wrong Session

Weakness ID: 488
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The product does not sufficiently enforce boundaries between the states of different sessions, causing data to be provided to, or used by, the wrong session.
+ Extended Description

Data can "bleed" from one session to another through member variables of singleton objects, such as Servlets, and objects from a shared pool.

In the case of Servlets, developers sometimes do not understand that, unless a Servlet implements the SingleThreadModel interface, the Servlet is a singleton; there is only one instance of the Servlet, and that single instance is used and re-used to handle multiple requests that are processed simultaneously by different threads. A common result is that developers use Servlet member fields in such a way that one user may inadvertently see another user's data. In other words, storing user data in Servlet member fields introduces a data access race condition.

+ 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
ChildOfPillarPillar - a weakness that is the most abstract type of weakness and represents a theme for all class/base/variant weaknesses related to it. A Pillar is different from a Category as a Pillar is still technically a type of weakness that describes a mistake, while a Category represents a common characteristic used to group related things.664Improper Control of a Resource Through its Lifetime
CanFollowBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.567Unsynchronized Access to Shared Data in a Multithreaded Context
+ Relevant to the view "Software Development" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1217User Session Errors
+ Relevant to the view "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1018Manage User Sessions
+ 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 life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

PhaseNote
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

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
Confidentiality

Technical Impact: Read Application Data

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following Servlet stores the value of a request parameter in a member field and then later echoes the parameter value to the response output stream.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
public class GuestBook extends HttpServlet {
String name;

protected void doPost (HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse res) {
name = req.getParameter("name");
...
out.println(name + ", thanks for visiting!");
}
}

While this code will work perfectly in a single-user environment, if two users access the Servlet at approximately the same time, it is possible for the two request handler threads to interleave in the following way: Thread 1: assign "Dick" to name Thread 2: assign "Jane" to name Thread 1: print "Jane, thanks for visiting!" Thread 2: print "Jane, thanks for visiting!" Thereby showing the first user the second user's name.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Protect the application's sessions from information leakage. Make sure that a session's data is not used or visible by other sessions.

Phase: Testing

Use a static analysis tool to scan the code for information leakage vulnerabilities (e.g. Singleton Member Field).

Phase: Architecture and Design

In a multithreading environment, storing user data in Servlet member fields introduces a data access race condition. Do not use member fields to store information in the Servlet.
+ 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.4857PK - Encapsulation
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.882CERT C++ Secure Coding Section 14 - Concurrency (CON)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.965SFP Secondary Cluster: Insecure Session Management
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsData Leaking Between Users
+ References
[REF-6] Katrina Tsipenyuk, Brian Chess and Gary McGraw. "Seven Pernicious Kingdoms: A Taxonomy of Software Security Errors". NIST Workshop on Software Security Assurance Tools Techniques and Metrics. NIST. 2005-11-07. <https://samate.nist.gov/SSATTM_Content/papers/Seven%20Pernicious%20Kingdoms%20-%20Taxonomy%20of%20Sw%20Security%20Errors%20-%20Tsipenyuk%20-%20Chess%20-%20McGraw.pdf>.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2006-07-197 Pernicious Kingdoms
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2009-10-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes
2010-09-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2010-12-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Name
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-09-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships, Type
+ Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Data Leaking Between Users
2011-03-29Data Leak Between Sessions
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Page Last Updated: June 25, 2020