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 (3.0)  

CWE-496: Public Data Assigned to Private Array-Typed Field

Weakness ID: 496
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
Assigning public data to a private array is equivalent to giving public access to the array.
+ 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)
MemberOfCategoryCategory490Mobile Code Issues
+ 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.


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.


Technical Impact: Modify Application Data

The contents of the array can be modified from outside the intended scope.
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

In the example below, the setRoles() method assigns a publically-controllable array to a private field, thus allowing the caller to modify the private array directly by virtue of the fact that arrays in Java are mutable.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
private String[] userRoles;
public void setUserRoles(String[] userRoles) {
this.userRoles = userRoles;

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Do not allow objects to modify private members of a class.
+ 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.
MemberOfCategoryCategory4857PK - Encapsulation
MemberOfViewView884CWE Cross-section
MemberOfCategoryCategory994SFP Secondary Cluster: Tainted Input to Variable
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsPublic Data Assigned to Private Array-Typed Field
Software Fault PatternsSFP25Tainted input to variable
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
7 Pernicious Kingdoms
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Sean EidemillerCigital
added/updated demonstrative examples
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-08-01KDM Analytics
added/updated white box definitions
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, White_Box_Definitions

More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018