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-703: Improper Check or Handling of Exceptional Conditions

Weakness ID: 703
Abstraction: Class
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software does not properly anticipate or handle exceptional conditions that rarely occur during normal operation of the software.
+ 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
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).1000Research Concepts
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.166Improper Handling of Missing Special Element
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.167Improper Handling of Additional Special Element
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.168Improper Handling of Inconsistent Special Elements
ParentOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.228Improper Handling of Syntactically Invalid Structure
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.248Uncaught Exception
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.274Improper Handling of Insufficient Privileges
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.280Improper Handling of Insufficient Permissions or Privileges
ParentOfVariantVariant - a weakness that is described at a very low level of detail, typically limited to a specific language or technology. More specific than a Base weakness.333Improper Handling of Insufficient Entropy in TRNG
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.391Unchecked Error Condition
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.392Missing Report of Error Condition
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.393Return of Wrong Status Code
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.397Declaration of Throws for Generic Exception
ParentOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.754Improper Check for Unusual or Exceptional Conditions
ParentOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.755Improper Handling of Exceptional Conditions
+ Relevant to the view "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1012Cross Cutting
+ 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.389Error Conditions, Return Values, Status Codes
ParentOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.754Improper Check for Unusual or Exceptional Conditions
ParentOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.755Improper Handling of Exceptional Conditions
+ 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
ImplementationREALIZATION: This weakness is caused during implementation of an architectural security tactic.
Operation
+ 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
Confidentiality
Availability
Integrity

Technical Impact: Read Application Data; DoS: Crash, Exit, or Restart; Unexpected State

+ Detection Methods

Dynamic Analysis with Manual Results Interpretation

According to SOAR, the following detection techniques may be useful:

Highly cost effective:
  • Fault Injection - source code
  • Fault Injection - binary
Cost effective for partial coverage:
  • Forced Path Execution

Effectiveness: High

Manual Static Analysis - Source Code

According to SOAR, the following detection techniques may be useful:

Highly cost effective:
  • Manual Source Code Review (not inspections)
Cost effective for partial coverage:
  • Focused Manual Spotcheck - Focused manual analysis of source

Effectiveness: High

Automated Static Analysis - Source Code

According to SOAR, the following detection techniques may be useful:

Cost effective for partial coverage:
  • Source code Weakness Analyzer
  • Context-configured Source Code Weakness Analyzer

Effectiveness: SOAR Partial

Architecture or Design Review

According to SOAR, the following detection techniques may be useful:

Highly cost effective:
  • Inspection (IEEE 1028 standard) (can apply to requirements, design, source code, etc.)
  • Formal Methods / Correct-By-Construction

Effectiveness: High

+ 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.851CERT Java Secure Coding Section 06 - Exceptional Behavior (ERR)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.876CERT C++ Secure Coding Section 08 - Memory Management (MEM)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.880CERT C++ Secure Coding Section 12 - Exceptions and Error Handling (ERR)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.961SFP Secondary Cluster: Incorrect Exception Behavior
+ Notes

Relationship

This is a high-level class that might have some overlap with other classes. It could be argued that even "normal" weaknesses such as buffer overflows involve unusual or exceptional conditions. In that sense, this might be an inherent aspect of most other weaknesses within CWE, similar to API Abuse (CWE-227) and Indicator of Poor Code Quality (CWE-398). However, this entry is currently intended to unify disparate concepts that do not have other places within the Research Concepts view (CWE-1000).
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CERT Java Secure CodingERR06-JDo not throw undeclared checked exceptions
+ References
[REF-567] Taimur Aslam. "A Taxonomy of Security Faults in the UNIX Operating System". 1995-08-01. <http://ftp.cerias.purdue.edu/pub/papers/taimur-aslam/aslam-taxonomy-msthesis.pdf>.
[REF-568] Taimur Aslam, Ivan Krsul and Eugene H. Spafford. "Use of A Taxonomy of Security Faults". 1995-08-01. <http://csrc.nist.gov/nissc/1996/papers/NISSC96/paper057/PAPER.PDF>.
[REF-44] Michael Howard, David LeBlanc and John Viega. "24 Deadly Sins of Software Security". "Sin 8: C++ Catastrophes." Page 143. McGraw-Hill. 2010.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2008-09-09CWE Content TeamMITRE
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2009-10-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Other_Notes
2010-02-16CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2010-12-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Name, Relationship_Notes
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-09-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Detection_Factors, Relationships
2017-01-19CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Modes_of_Introduction, References, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2010-12-13Failure to Handle Exceptional Conditions

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Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018