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-674: Uncontrolled Recursion

Weakness ID: 674
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The product does not properly control the amount of recursion that takes place, which consumes excessive resources, such as allocated memory or the program stack.
+ Alternate Terms
Stack Exhaustion
+ 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 "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.

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

Class: Language-Independent (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
Availability

Technical Impact: DoS: Resource Consumption (CPU); DoS: Resource Consumption (Memory)

Resources including CPU, memory, and stack memory could be rapidly consumed or exhausted, eventually leading to an exit or crash.
Confidentiality

Technical Impact: Read Application Data

In some cases, an application's interpreter might kill a process or thread that appears to be consuming too much resources, such as with PHP's memory_limit setting. When the interpreter kills the process/thread, it might report an error containing detailed information such as the application's installation path.
+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Deeply nested arrays trigger stack exhaustion.
Self-referencing pointers create infinite loop and resultant stack exhaustion.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Limit the number of recursive calls to a reasonable number.
+ Affected Resources
  • CPU
+ 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.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
OWASP Top Ten 2004A9CWE More SpecificDenial of Service
Software Fault PatternsSFP13Unrestricted Consumption
+ Content History
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2013-02-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-02-18CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Relationships

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018