CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
Home > CWE List > CWE- Individual Dictionary Definition (3.1)  
ID

CWE-834: Excessive Iteration

Weakness ID: 834
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software performs an iteration or loop without sufficiently limiting the number of times that the loop is executed.
+ Extended Description
If the iteration can be influenced by an attacker, this weakness could allow attackers to consume excessive resources such as CPU or memory. In many cases, a loop does not need to be infinite in order to cause enough resource consumption to adversely affect the software or its host system; it depends on the amount of resources consumed per iteration.
+ 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.691Insufficient Control Flow Management
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.835Loop with Unreachable Exit Condition ('Infinite Loop')
CanFollowBaseBase - 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.606Unchecked Input for Loop Condition
+ 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.438Behavioral Problems
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.835Loop with Unreachable Exit Condition ('Infinite Loop')
+ 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); DoS: Amplification; DoS: Crash, Exit, or Restart

Excessive looping will cause unexpected consumption of resources, such as CPU cycles or memory. The software's operation may slow down, or cause a long time to respond. If limited resources such as memory are consumed for each iteration, the loop may eventually cause a crash or program exit due to exhaustion of resources, such as an out-of-memory error.
+ Detection Methods

Dynamic Analysis with Manual Results Interpretation

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

Cost effective for partial coverage:
  • Fuzz Tester
  • Framework-based Fuzzer
  • Forced Path Execution

Effectiveness: SOAR Partial

Manual Static Analysis - Source Code

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

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

Effectiveness: SOAR Partial

Automated Static Analysis - Source Code

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

Highly cost effective:
  • Context-configured Source Code Weakness Analyzer

Effectiveness: High

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.)

Effectiveness: High

+ References
[REF-62] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 7, "Looping Constructs", Page 327. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2011-03-22CWE Content TeamMITRE
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Detection_Factors
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships

More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018