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-764: Multiple Locks of a Critical Resource

Weakness ID: 764
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software locks a critical resource more times than intended, leading to an unexpected state in the system.
+ Extended Description
When software is operating in a concurrent environment and repeatedly locks a critical resource, the consequences will vary based on the type of lock, the lock's implementation, and the resource being protected. In some situations such as with semaphores, the resources are pooled and extra locking calls will reduce the size of the total available pool, possibly leading to degraded performance or a denial of service. If this can be triggered by an attacker, it will be similar to an unrestricted lock (CWE-412). In the context of a binary lock, it is likely that any duplicate locking attempts will never succeed since the lock is already held and progress may not be possible.
+ 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.675Duplicate Operations on Resource
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.667Improper Locking
+ 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.667Improper Locking
+ 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
+ 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
Integrity

Technical Impact: DoS: Resource Consumption (CPU); DoS: Crash, Exit, or Restart; Unexpected State

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

When locking and unlocking a resource, try to be sure that all control paths through the code in which the resource is locked one or more times correspond to exactly as many unlocks. If the software acquires a lock and then determines it is not able to perform its intended behavior, be sure to release the lock(s) before waiting for conditions to improve. Reacquire the lock(s) before trying again.
+ 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.987SFP Secondary Cluster: Multiple Locks/Unlocks
+ Notes

Maintenance

An alternate way to think about this weakness is as an imbalance between the number of locks / unlocks in the control flow. Over the course of execution, if each lock call is not followed by a subsequent call to unlock in a reasonable amount of time, then system performance may be degraded or at least operating at less than peak levels if there is competition for the locks. This entry may need to be modified to reflect these concepts in the future.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
Software Fault PatternsSFP21Multiple locks/unlocks
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2009-03-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings

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Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018