CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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ID

CWE-583: finalize() Method Declared Public

Weakness ID: 583
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
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.
+ 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
ChildOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.668Exposure of Resource to Wrong Sphere
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.490Mobile 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.

PhaseNote
Implementation
+ 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

Java (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
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.
+ 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.850CERT Java Secure Coding Section 05 - Methods (MET)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1002SFP Secondary Cluster: Unexpected Entry Points
+ 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 DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Other_Notes
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2009-10-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
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: March 29, 2018