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-69: Improper Handling of Windows ::DATA Alternate Data Stream

Weakness ID: 69
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software does not properly prevent access to, or detect usage of, alternate data streams (ADS).
+ Extended Description
An attacker can use an ADS to hide information about a file (e.g. size, the name of the process) from a system or file browser tools such as Windows Explorer and 'dir' at the command line utility. Alternately, the attacker might be able to bypass intended access restrictions for the associated data fork.
+ 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
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.66Improper Handling of File Names that Identify Virtual Resources
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
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.66Improper Handling of File Names that Identify Virtual Resources
+ Background Details
Alternate data streams (ADS) were first implemented in the Windows NT operating system to provide compatibility between NTFS and the Macintosh Hierarchical File System (HFS). In HFS, data and resource forks are used to store information about a file. The data fork provides information about the contents of the file while the resource fork stores metadata such as file type.
+ 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)

Operating Systems

Class: Windows (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
Access Control
Non-Repudiation
Other

Technical Impact: Bypass Protection Mechanism; Hide Activities; Other

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
In IIS, remote attackers can obtain source code for ASP files by appending "::$DATA" to the URL.
Product does not properly record file sizes if they are stored in alternative data streams, which allows users to bypass quota restrictions.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Testing

Software tools are capable of finding ADSs on your system.

Phase: Implementation

Ensure that the source code correctly parses the filename to read or write to the correct stream.
+ Affected Resources
  • System Process
+ 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.904SFP Primary Cluster: Malware
+ Notes

Theoretical

This and similar problems exist because the same resource can have multiple identifiers that dictate which behavior can be performed on the resource.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERWindows ::DATA alternate data stream
+ References
[REF-562] Don Parker. "Windows NTFS Alternate Data Streams". 2005-02-16. <http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1822>.
[REF-7] Michael Howard and David LeBlanc. "Writing Secure Code". 2nd Edition. Microsoft Press. 2002-12-04. <https://www.microsoftpressstore.com/store/writing-secure-code-9780735617223>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
PLOVER
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Background_Details, Description, Relationships, Other_Notes, References, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description
2009-10-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Other_Notes, Theoretical_Notes
2010-04-05CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2010-12-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Name
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Observed_Examples, References, Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, References, Relationships
2018-03-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Windows ::DATA Alternate Data Stream
2010-12-13Failure to Handle Windows ::DATA Alternate Data Stream

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Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018