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-587: Assignment of a Fixed Address to a Pointer

Weakness ID: 587
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software sets a pointer to a specific address other than NULL or 0.
+ Extended Description
Using a fixed address is not portable because that address will probably not be valid in all environments or platforms.
+ 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.758Reliance on Undefined, Unspecified, or Implementation-Defined Behavior
ChildOfBaseBase - a weakness that is described in an abstract fashion, but with sufficient details to infer specific methods for detection and prevention. More general than a Variant weakness, but more specific than a Class weakness.344Use of Invariant Value in Dynamically Changing Context
+ 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.465Pointer 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
Architecture and Design
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

C (Undetermined Prevalence)

C++ (Undetermined Prevalence)

C# (Undetermined Prevalence)

Class: Assembly (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
Integrity
Confidentiality
Availability

Technical Impact: Execute Unauthorized Code or Commands

If one executes code at a known location, an attacker might be able to inject code there beforehand.
Availability

Technical Impact: DoS: Crash, Exit, or Restart

If the code is ported to another platform or environment, the pointer is likely to be invalid and cause a crash.
Confidentiality
Integrity

Technical Impact: Read Memory; Modify Memory

The data at a known pointer location can be easily read or influenced by an attacker.
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

This code assumes a particular function will always be found at a particular address. It assigns a pointer to that address and calls the function.

(bad code)
Example Language:
int (*pt2Function) (float, char, char)=0x08040000;
int result2 = (*pt2Function) (12, 'a', 'b');
// Here we can inject code to execute.

The same function may not always be found at the same memory address. This could lead to a crash, or an attacker may alter the memory at the expected address, leading to arbitrary code execution.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Never set a pointer to a fixed address.
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Primary
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
+ 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.738CERT C Secure Coding (2008 Version) Section 04 - Integers (INT)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.872CERT C++ Secure Coding Section 04 - Integers (INT)
MemberOfViewView - a subset of CWE entries that provides a way of examining CWE content. The two main view structures are Slices (flat lists) and Graphs (containing relationships between entries).884CWE Cross-section
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.998SFP Secondary Cluster: Glitch in Computation
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CERT C Secure CodingINT36-CImpreciseConverting a pointer to integer or integer to pointer
Software Fault PatternsSFP1Glitch in computation
+ Content History
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
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, Description, Relationships, Other_Notes, Weakness_Ordinalities
2008-11-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Description, Other_Notes
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-09-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Taxonomy_Mappings, White_Box_Definitions

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Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018