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Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

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ID

CWE-917: Improper Neutralization of Special Elements used in an Expression Language Statement ('Expression Language Injection')

Weakness ID: 917
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software constructs all or part of an expression language (EL) statement in a Java Server Page (JSP) using externally-influenced input from an upstream component, but it does not neutralize or incorrectly neutralizes special elements that could modify the intended EL statement before it is executed.
+ 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)
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
+ 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

Java: (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

Technical Impact: Read Application Data

Integrity

Technical Impact: Execute Unauthorized Code or Commands

+ Alternate Terms
EL Injection
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Primary
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
+ Notes

Relationship

In certain versions of Spring 3.0.5 and earlier, there was a vulnerability (CVE-2011-2730) in which Expression Language tags would be evaluated twice, which effectively exposed any application to EL injection. However, even for later versions, this weakness is still possible depending on configuration.
+ References
[REF-911] Stefano Di Paola and Arshan Dabirsiaghi. "Expression Language Injection". <http://www.mindedsecurity.com/fileshare/ExpressionLanguageInjection.pdf>.
[REF-912] Dan Amodio. "Remote Code with Expression Language Injection". 2012-12-14. <http://danamodio.com/application-security/discoveries/spring-remote-code-with-expression-language-injection/>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
2013-02-15CWE Content TeamMITRE
Contributions
Contribution DateContributorOrganizationSource
2013-02-15Dan Amodio, Dave WichersAspect Security
Suggested adding this weakness and provided references.
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References

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Page Last Updated: November 14, 2017