CWE-915: Improperly Controlled Modification of Dynamically-Determined Object Attributes
Improperly Controlled Modification of Dynamically-Determined Object Attributes
Weakness ID: 915 (Weakness Base)
The software receives input from an upstream component that specifies multiple attributes, properties, or fields that are to be initialized or updated in an object, but it does not properly control which attributes can be modified.
If the object contains attributes that were only intended for internal use, then their unexpected modification could lead to a vulnerability.
This weakness is sometimes known by the language-specific mechanisms that make it possible, such as mass assignment, autobinding, or object injection.
"Mass assignment" is the name of a feature in Ruby on Rails that
allows simultaneous modification of multiple object attributes.
The "Autobinding" term is used in frameworks such as Spring MVC and
This term seems to be preferred by some PHP application researchers
who attack unsafe use of the unserialize() function.
Time of Introduction
Architecture and Design
Technical Impact: Modify application data
An attacker could modify sensitive data or program variables.
Technical Impact: Execute unauthorized code or
Technical Impact: Varies by context; Alter execution logic
Media library allows deserialization of objects by
untrusted Java applets, leading to arbitrary code
If available, use features of the language or framework that allow
specification of white lists of attributes or fields that are allowed to
be modified. If possible, prefer white lists over black lists.
For applications written with Ruby on Rails, use the attr_accessible
(white list) or attr_protected (black list) macros in each class that
may be used in mass assignment.
Phases: Architecture and Design; Implementation
If available, use the signing/sealing features of the programming
language to assure that deserialized data has not been tainted. For
example, a hash-based message authentication code (HMAC) could be used
to ensure that data has not been modified.
Strategy: Input Validation
For any externally-influenced input, check the input against a white
list of internal object attributes or fields that are allowed to be
Phases: Implementation; Architecture and Design
Refactor the code so that object attributes or fields do not need to
be dynamically identified, and only expose getter/setter functionality
for the intended attributes.
the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)