Common Weakness Enumeration

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CWE-566: Authorization Bypass Through User-Controlled SQL Primary Key

Weakness ID: 566
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software uses a database table that includes records that should not be accessible to an actor, but it executes a SQL statement with a primary key that can be controlled by that actor.
+ Extended Description

When a user can set a primary key to any value, then the user can modify the key to point to unauthorized records.

Database access control errors occur when:

  • Data enters a program from an untrusted source.
  • The data is used to specify the value of a primary key in a SQL query.
  • The untrusted source does not have the permissions to be able to access all rows in the associated table.
+ 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 "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
MemberOfCategoryCategory1011Authorize Actors
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
+ 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.

Architecture and DesignCOMMISSION: This weakness refers to an incorrect design related to 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.


Database Server (Often Prevalent)

+ 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.

Access Control

Technical Impact: Read Application Data; Modify Application Data; Bypass Protection Mechanism

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following code uses a parameterized statement, which escapes metacharacters and prevents SQL injection vulnerabilities, to construct and execute a SQL query that searches for an invoice matching the specified identifier [1]. The identifier is selected from a list of all invoices associated with the current authenticated user.

(bad code)
Example Language: C# 
conn = new SqlConnection(_ConnectionString);
int16 id = System.Convert.ToInt16(invoiceID.Text);
SqlCommand query = new SqlCommand( "SELECT * FROM invoices WHERE id = @id", conn);
query.Parameters.AddWithValue("@id", id);
SqlDataReader objReader = objCommand.ExecuteReader();

The problem is that the developer has not considered all of the possible values of id. Although the interface generates a list of invoice identifiers that belong to the current user, an attacker can bypass this interface to request any desired invoice. Because the code in this example does not check to ensure that the user has permission to access the requested invoice, it will display any invoice, even if it does not belong to the current user.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Assume all input is malicious. Use a standard input validation mechanism to validate all input for length, type, syntax, and business rules before accepting the data. Use an "accept known good" validation strategy.

Phase: Implementation

Use a parameterized query AND make sure that the accepted values conform to the business rules. Construct your SQL statement accordingly.
+ 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.
MemberOfCategoryCategory994SFP Secondary Cluster: Tainted Input to Variable
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
Software Fault PatternsSFP25Tainted input to variable
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
Anonymous Tool Vendor (under NDA)
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Description, Other_Notes, Potential_Mitigations, Taxonomy_Mappings
2010-06-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Demonstrative_Examples, Name
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2011-03-29Access Control Bypass Through User-Controlled SQL Primary Key

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018