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Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

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ID

CWE-541: Information Exposure Through Include Source Code

Weakness ID: 541
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
If an include file source is accessible, the file can contain usernames and passwords, as well as sensitive information pertaining to the application and system.
+ 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
ChildOfVariantVariant - a weakness that is described at a very low level of detail, typically limited to a specific language or technology. More specific than a Base weakness.540Information Exposure Through Source Code
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfVariantVariant - a weakness that is described at a very low level of detail, typically limited to a specific language or technology. More specific than a Base weakness.540Information Exposure Through Source Code
+ 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
Implementation
+ 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 code uses an include file to store database credentials:

database.inc

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

login.php

(bad code)
Example Language: PHP 
<?php
include('database.inc');
$db = connectToDB($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 database.inc to an attacker without pre-processing, if the attacker requests the file directly. This will expose the database name and password. Note this is also an example of CWE-433.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Do not store sensitive information in include files.

Phases: Architecture and Design; System Configuration

Protect include files from being exposed.
+ 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.731OWASP Top Ten 2004 Category A10 - Insecure Configuration Management
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.963SFP Secondary Cluster: Exposed Data
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
Anonymous Tool Vendor (under NDA)
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Name
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Taxonomy_Mappings
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2011-03-29Information Leak Through Include Source Code

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Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018