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ID

CWE-583: finalize() Method Declared Public

Weakness ID: 583
Abstraction: Variant
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

Description Summary

The program violates secure coding principles for mobile code by declaring a finalize() method public.

Extended Description

A program should never call finalize explicitly, except to call super.finalize() inside an implementation of finalize(). In mobile code situations, the otherwise error prone practice of manual garbage collection can become a security threat if an attacker can maliciously invoke one of your finalize() methods because it is declared with public access.

+ Time of Introduction
  • Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms

Languages

Java

+ Common Consequences
ScopeEffect
Confidentiality
Integrity
Availability

Technical Impact: Alter execution logic; Execute unauthorized code or commands; Modify application data

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following Java Applet code mistakenly declares a public finalize() method.

(Bad Code)
Example Language: Java 
public final class urlTool extends Applet {
public void finalize() {
...
}
...
}

Mobile code, in this case a Java Applet, is code that is transmitted across a network and executed on a remote machine. Because mobile code developers have little if any control of the environment in which their code will execute, special security concerns become relevant. One of the biggest environmental threats results from the risk that the mobile code will run side-by-side with other, potentially malicious, mobile code. Because all of the popular web browsers execute code from multiple sources together in the same JVM, many of the security guidelines for mobile code are focused on preventing manipulation of your objects' state and behavior by adversaries who have access to the same virtual machine where your program is running.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

If you are using finalize() as it was designed, there is no reason to declare finalize() with anything other than protected access.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfCategoryCategory490Mobile Code Issues
Development Concepts (primary)699
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class668Exposure of Resource to Wrong Sphere
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfCategoryCategory850CERT Java Secure Coding Section 05 - Methods (MET)
Weaknesses Addressed by the CERT Java Secure Coding Standard (primary)844
ChildOfCategoryCategory1002SFP Secondary Cluster: Unexpected Entry Points
Software Fault Pattern (SFP) Clusters (primary)888
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CERT Java Secure CodingMET12-JDo not use finalizers
Software Fault PatternsSFP28Unexpected access points
+ Content History
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships, Other_Notes
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2009-10-29CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Description, Other_Notes
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Mobile Code: Public Finalize Method

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2017