CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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Schema Documentation - Schema Version 5.4

Document version: 5.4    Date: 2014-06-23

This is a draft document. It is intended to support maintenance of CWE, and to educate and solicit feedback from a specific technical audience. This document does not reflect any official position of the MITRE Corporation or its sponsors. Copyright © 2014, The MITRE Corporation. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to redistribute this document if this paragraph is not removed. This document is subject to change without notice.

Author: CWE Team
URL: http://cwe.mitre.org/documents/schema/index.html

Table of Selected Content
Table of Selected Content

Affected Resource

Schema path: Common Attributes > Affected Resources > Affected Resource

This element identifies system resources affected by this entry. Each resource affected by this weakness should be given its own Affected_Resource element. For example, CWE-249, Path Manipulation has both Memory and File/Directory listed in separate Affected_Resource elements. This should be filled out in weakness bases and variants where applicable.


Affected Resources

Schema path: Common Attributes > Affected Resources

This element identifies system resources affected by this entry. It is populated by Affected_Resource elements.


Alternate Term

Schema path: Alternate Terms > Alternate Term

This element contains alternate terms by which this weakness may be known and a description to explain the context in which the term may be relevant. For example, CWE-181 Incorrect Behavior Order: Validate Before Filter, has the alternate terms value "Validate-before-cleanse". This is not required for all entries and should only be included where appropriate.


Alternate Term Description

Schema path: Alternate Terms > Alternate Term > Alternate Term Description

This element provides context to each Alternate_Term by which this weakness may be known.


Alternate Terms

Schema path: Alternate Terms

This element contains one or more Alternate_Term elements, each of which contains other names used to describe this weakness.


Applicable Languages

Schema path: Mitigation > Applicable Languages

This structure contains one or more Language elements which each represent a language in which this mitigation may exist.


Applicable Platforms

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms

This structure contains the Languages, Operating_Systems, Hardware_Architectures, Architectural_Paradigms, Environments, Technology_Classes or Common Platforms on which this entry may exist. This should be filled out as much as possible for all Compound_Element and Weakness entries.


Architectural Paradigm

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Architectural Paradigms > Architectural Paradigm

This element identifies a single Architectural_Paradigm in which this entry may exist and with what frequency in the specified paradigm.


Architectural Paradigm Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Architectural Paradigms > Architectural Paradigm > Architectural Paradigm Name

This subelement identifies paradigms in which this weakness is likely to exist.


Architectural Paradigms

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Architectural Paradigms

This element contains one or more Architectural_Paradigm subelements which each represent an architecture on which this weakness is likely to exist.


Audience

Schema path: View Attributes > View Audience > Audience

The Audience element provides a reference to the target audience or group for this view.


Background Detail

Schema path: Common Attributes > Background Details > Background Detail

This element contains background information regarding the entry or any technologies that are related to it, where the background information is not related to the nature of the weakness itself. It should be filled out where appropriate.


Background Details

Schema path: Common Attributes > Background Details

This structure contains one or more Background_Detail elements, each of which holds information regarding the entry or any technologies that are related to it, where the background information is not related to the nature of the entry itself. It should be filled out where appropriate.


Black Box Definition

Schema path: Common Attributes > Black Box Definitions > Black Box Definition

This element contains elements describes the weakness from an external perspective, meaning that the view includes no knowledge of how the software is processing data other than what can be inferred from observing the software's behavior.


Black Box Definitions

Schema path: Common Attributes > Black Box Definitions

This structure contains one or more Black_Box_Definition elements, each of which describes the weakness from an external perspective, meaning that the view includes no knowledge of how the software is processing data other than what can be inferred from observing the software's behavior.


Block

Schema path: Block

Block is a Structured_Text element consisting of one of Text_Title, Text, Code_Example_Language, or Code followed by another Block element. Structured_Text elements help define whitespace and text segments.


Block Nature

Schema path: Block > Block Nature

This attribute identifies the nature of the content contained within the Block.


CAPEC ID

Schema path: Common Attributes > Related Attack Patterns > Related Attack Pattern > CAPEC ID

The CAPEC_ID stores the value for the related CAPEC entry identifier as a string. Only one CAPEC_ID element can exist for each Related_Attack_Pattern element.


CAPEC Version

Schema path: Common Attributes > Related Attack Patterns > Related Attack Pattern > CAPEC Version

This attribute identifies which version of CAPEC is being referenced.


CPE ID

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Common Platform References > Common Platform Reference > CPE ID

The CPE_ID stores the value for the related CPE entry identifier as a string. Only one CPE_ID element can exist for each Common_Platform element.


Catalog Date

Schema path: Weakness Catalog > Catalog Date

Catalog_Date is an optional attribute of Weakness_Catalog which identifies the date when this catalog was created or last updated.


Catalog Name

Schema path: Weakness Catalog > Catalog Name

Catalog_Name is a required attribute of Weakness_Catalog which identifies the collection of Weaknesses, Views, Categories and Compound_Elements represented by this XML document.


Catalog Version

Schema path: Weakness Catalog > Catalog Version

Catalog_Version is a required attribute of Weakness_Catalog which identifies what version of @Catalog_Name this XML document represents.


Categories

Schema path: Weakness Catalog > Categories

The Categories structure contains zero or more Category elements. Each Category element represents what used to be referred to in CWE as a "Grouping" entry. That is, a category is now a collection of weaknesses based on a common attribute, such as CWE-310 Cryptographic Issues or CWE-355 User Interface Security Issues.


Category

Schema path: Category

Each Category element represents what used to be referred to in CWE as a "Grouping" entry. That is, a category is now a collection of weaknesses sharing a common attribute, such as CWE-310 Cryptographic Issues or CWE-355 User Interface Security Issues. The shared attribute may any number of things including, but not limited to, environment (J2EE, .NET), functional area (authentication, cryptography) and the relevant resource (credentials management, certificate issues).


Causal Nature

Schema path: Common Attributes > Causal Nature

This element describes the nature of the underlying cause of the weakness. Is it an implicit underlying weakness or is it an issue of behavior on the part of the software developer? Appropriate values are either Implicit, occurring regardless of developer behavior, or Explicit, an explicit weakness resulting from behavior of the developer.


Code

Schema path: Code

Presentation Element: This element is used to define a line of code.


Code Example Language

Schema path: Code Example Language

Presentation Element: This element is used to identify the programming language being used in the following block of Code


Comment

Schema path: Comment

Presentation Element: This element is used to define a comment in code.


Common Attributes

Schema path: Common Attributes

The Common_Attributes structure is a collection of common elements which might be shared by a Weakness, Category or Compound_Element.


Common Consequence

Schema path: Common Consequence

This subelement contains an individual consequence associated with this weakness. One or more are required for every Common_Consequences element and should exist in all weaknesses.


Common Consequence ID

Schema path: Common Consequence > Common Consequence ID

The Common_Consequence_ID stores the value for the related Common_Consequence entry identifier as a string. Only one Common_Consequence_ID element can exist for each Common_Consequence element (ex: CC-1). However, Common_Consequences across CWE with the same ID should only vary in small details.


Common Consequences

Schema path: Common Attributes > Common Consequences

This element contains the common consequences associated with this weakness. It is populated by one or more individual Common_Consequence subelements. This should be included and completed as much as possible for all weaknesses.


Common Platform Reference

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Common Platform References > Common Platform Reference

The Common_Platform subelement identifies a single platform that is associated with this weakness. Its only child, CPE_ID is required and identifies the related CPE entry. More than one Common_Platform_Reference element can exist, but they must all be contained within a single Common_Platform_References element.


Common Platform References

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Common Platform References

The Common_Platforms element contains references to the Common Platform Enumeration, CPE, which will identify common platforms on which this weakness may occur. It has one or more Common_Platform elements as children and each child will point to a single CPE entry which is associated with this weakness.


Compound Element

Schema path: Compound Element

The Compound_Element structure represents a meaningful aggregation of several weaknesses, as in a chain like CWE-690: CWE-252 Unchecked Return Value can result in CWE-476 NULL Pointer Dereference or as in a composite like CWE-352 Cross-Site Request Forgery.


Compound Element Abstraction

Schema path: Compound Element > Compound Element Abstraction

The Abstraction defines the abstraction level for this weakness. The abstractions levels for Compound_Elements and Weaknesses are the same. For example, if the Compound_Element is a chain, and all elements of the chain are Class level, then the Compound_Element Abstraction attribute is Class. This is required for all Compound_Elements.


Compound Element Structure

Schema path: Compound Element > Compound Element Structure

The Structure attribute defines the structural nature of this compound element - that is, composed of other weaknesses concurrently, as in a composite, or consecutively, as in a chain.


Compound Elements

Schema path: Weakness Catalog > Compound Elements

The Compound_Elements structure contains zero or more Compound_Element elements. Each Compound_Element represents a meaningful aggregation of several weaknesses, as in a chain like CWE-690: CWE-252 Unchecked Return Value can result in CWE-476 NULL Pointer Dereference or as in a composite like CWE-352 Cross-Site Request Forgery.


Consequence Note

Schema path: Common Consequence > Consequence Note

This subelement provides additional commentary about this consequence.


Consequence Scope

Schema path: Common Consequence > Consequence Scope

This subelement identifies an individual consequence that may be associated with this weakness. Possible effects are detailed in Consequence_Effect.


Consequence Technical Impact

Schema path: Common Consequence > Consequence Technical Impact

This subelement describes the technical impacts that can arise if an attacker attempts to exploit this weakness.


Content History

Schema path: Content History

This element is used to keep track of the author of the weakness entry and anyone who has made modifications to the content. This provides a means of contacting the authors and modifiers for clarifying ambiguities, merging overlapping contributions, etc. This should be filled out for all entries.


Contribution

Schema path: Content History > Contribution

This element houses the subelements which identify the contributor and contributor's comments related to this entry. This element has a single attribute, Contribution_Mode, which indicates whether the contribution was part of feedback given to the CWE team or actual content that was donated.


Contribution Comment

Schema path: Content History > Contribution > Contribution Comment

This element provides the author with a place to store any comments regarding the content of this weakness entry, such as assumptions made, reasons for omitting elements, contact information, pending questions, etc.


Contribution Date

Schema path: Content History > Contribution > Contribution Date

This element should provide the date on which this content was authored in YYYY-MM-DD format.


Contribution Mode

Schema path: Content History > Contribution > Contribution Mode

This attribute indicates whether the contribution was part of feedback given to the CWE team or actual content that was donated.


Contribution Organization

Schema path: Content History > Contribution > Contribution Organization

This element should identify the author's organization.


Contributor

Schema path: Content History > Contribution > Contributor

This element should contain the name of the author for this entry.


Demonstrative Example

Schema path: Common Attributes > Demonstrative Examples > Demonstrative Example

This element illustrates how this weakness may look in actual code. It contains an Intro_Text element describing the context in which this code should be viewed, an Example_Body element which is a mixture of code and explanatory text, and Demonstrative_Example_References that provide additional information.


Demonstrative Example ID

Schema path: Common Attributes > Demonstrative Examples > Demonstrative Example > Demonstrative Example ID

The Demonstrative_Example_ID stores the value for the related Demonstrative_Example entry identifier as a string. Only one Demonstrative_Example_ID element can exist for each Demonstrative_Example element (ex: DX-1). However, Demonstrative_Examples across CWE with the same ID should only vary in small details.


Demonstrative Example References

Schema path: Common Attributes > Demonstrative Examples > Demonstrative Example > Demonstrative Example References

The Demonstrative_Example_References element contains one or more Reference elements, each of which provide further reading and insight into this demonstrative example. This should be filled out when appropriate.


Demonstrative Examples

Schema path: Common Attributes > Demonstrative Examples

This structure contains one or more Demonstrative_Examples, each of which should contain an example illustrating the problem being described in this weakness.


Description

Schema path: Common Attributes > Description

This field provides a description of this Structure, whether it is a Weakness, Category or Compound Element. Its primary subelement is Description_Summary which is intended to serve as a minimalistic description which provides the information necessary to understand the primary focus of this entry. Additionally, it has the subelement Extended_Description which is optional and is used to provide further information pertaining to this weakness.


Description Summary

Schema path: Common Attributes > Description > Description Summary

This description should be short and should limit itself to describing the key points that define this entry. Further explanation can be included in the extended description element. This is required for all entries.


Detection Method

Schema path: Common Attributes > Detection Methods > Detection Method

The Detection_Method element is intended to provide information on different techniques that can be used to detect a weakness, including their strengths and limitations. This should be filled out for some weakness classes and bases.


Detection Method ID

Schema path: Common Attributes > Detection Methods > Detection Method > Detection Method ID

The Detection_Method_ID stores the value for the related Detection_Method entry identifier as a string. Only one Detection_Method_ID element can exist for each Detection_Method element (ex: DM-1). However, Detection_Methods across CWE with the same ID should only vary in small details.


Detection Methods

Schema path: Common Attributes > Detection Methods

The Detection_Methods element is comprised of one or more Detection_Method elements which identify methods that may be employed to detect this weakness.


Enabling Factor for Exploitation

Schema path: Common Attributes > Enabling Factors for Exploitation > Enabling Factor for Exploitation

This element identifies a condition or factor that could increase the likelihood of exploit for this weakness. This element should contain structured text with enough detail to make the enabling factor clear. This should be filled out for most weakness bases.


Enabling Factors for Exploitation

Schema path: Common Attributes > Enabling Factors for Exploitation

This element contains one or more Enabling_Factor_for_Exploitation, each of which points out conditions or factors that could increase the likelihood of exploit for this weakness. This should be filled out for most weakness bases.


Environment

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Environments > Environment

This element identifies a single Environment in which this entry may exist and with what frequency in the specified environment.


Environment Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Environments > Environment > Environment Name

This attribute is the name of the Environment we are identifying.


Environments

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Environments

This element contains one or more Environment subelements which each represent an environment in which this weakness may exist.


Example Body

Schema path: Common Attributes > Demonstrative Examples > Demonstrative Example > Example Body

This element consists of a Structured_Text element which should hold the code and some explanatory information for the reader.


Extended Description

Schema path: Common Attributes > Description > Extended Description

This element provides a place for details important to the description of this entry to be included that are not necessary to convey the fundamental concept behind the entry. This is not required for all entries and should only be included where appropriate.


Functional Area

Schema path: Common Attributes > Functional Areas > Functional Area

This element identifies the functional area of the software in which the weakness is most likely to occur. For example, CWE-178 Failure to Resolve Case Sensitivity is likely to occur in functional areas of software related to file processing and credentials. Each applicable functional area should have a new Functional_Area element and standard title capitalization should be applied to each area.


Functional Areas

Schema path: Common Attributes > Functional Areas

This structure contains one or more Functional_Area elements, each of which identifies the functional area of the software in which the weakness is most likely to occur. For example, CWE-178 Failure to Resolve Case Sensitivity is likely to occur in functional areas of software related to file processing and credentials.


Hardware Architecture

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Hardware Architectures > Hardware Architecture

This element identifies a single Hardware_Architecture on which this entry may exist and with what frequency on the specified architecture.


Hardware Architecture Class

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Hardware Architectures > Hardware Architecture Class

This element identifies a single class of hardware architectures, specified in Hardware_Architecture_Class_Name, in which this entry may exist.


Hardware Architecture Class Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Hardware Architectures > Hardware Architecture Class > Hardware Architecture Class Name

This subelement identifies architectures in which this weakness is likely to exist.


Hardware Architecture Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Hardware Architectures > Hardware Architecture > Hardware Architecture Name

This subelement identifies architectures on which this weakness is likely to exist.


Hardware Architectures

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Hardware Architectures

This element contains one or more Hardware_Architecture subelements which each represent an architecture in which this weakness is likely to exist.


ID (Category)

Schema path: Category > ID

This attribute provides a unique identifier for the entry. It will be static for the lifetime of the entry. In the event that this entry becomes deprecated, the ID will not be reused and a pointer will be left in this entry to the replacement. This is required for all Categories.


ID (Compound Element)

Schema path: Compound Element > ID

This attribute provides a unique identifier for the entry. It will be static for the lifetime of the entry. In the event that this entry becomes deprecated, the ID will not be reused and a pointer will be left in this entry to the replacement. This is required for all Compound_Elements.


ID (View)

Schema path: View > ID

The ID attribute provides a unique identifier for the entry. It will be static for the lifetime of the entry. In the event that this entry becomes deprecated, the ID will not be reused and a pointer will be left in this entry to the replacement. This is required for all Views.


ID (Weakness)

Schema path: Weakness > ID

This attribute provides a unique identifier for the entry. It will be static for the lifetime of the entry. In the event that this entry becomes deprecated, the ID will not be reused and a pointer will be left in this entry to the replacement. This is required for all Weaknesses.


Image

Schema path: Image

Presentation Element: This element is used to define an image.


Image Location

Schema path: Image > Image Location

This element provides the location of the image file.


Image Title

Schema path: Image > Image Title

This element provides a title for the image.


Intro Text

Schema path: Common Attributes > Demonstrative Examples > Demonstrative Example > Intro Text

This element describes the context and setting surrounding the example to add clarity for the reader.


Introductory Phase

Schema path: Common Attributes > Time of Introduction > Introductory Phase

This element identifies the point of time in the software life cycle at which the weakness may be introduced. Possible values are Architecture and Design, Implementation and Operational to name a few. If there are multiple points of time at which the weakness may be introduced, then separate Introductory_Phase elements should be included for each. This element should be populated for all weakness bases and variants.


Language

Schema path: Languages List Type > Language

This element represents a programming language in which this entry may occur. The language name is specified in the Language_Name attribute.


Language Class

Schema path: Languages List Type > Language Class

This element houses the description of a type of language in which this entry is likely to exist and its likely frequency of occurrence in that language. The type may be specified by a common property, such as Languages with Automated Memory Management or Languages which support Format Strings, or it may describe a more general class of language such as All Interpreted Languages or Pseudo Code.


Language Class Description

Schema path: Languages List Type > Language Class > Language Class Description

This element is the description of a type of language in which this entry is likely to exist. The type may be specified by a common property, such as Languages with Automated Memory Management or Languages which support Format Strings, or it may describe a more general class of language such as All Interpreted Languages or Pseudo Code.


Language Name

Schema path: Languages List Type > Language > Language Name

This attribute specifies the name of the programming language in which this entry may occur.


Languages

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Languages

This structure contains one or more Language elements which each represent a language in which this weakness may exist.


Languages List Type

Schema path: Languages List Type

The Languages_List_Type contains one or more Language elements, each of which provide further reading and insight into the item. This should be filled out as appropriate.


Likelihood

Schema path: Common Consequence > Consequence Technical Impact > Likelihood

This attribute identifies how likely an impact is based on the weakness.


Likelihood of Exploit

Schema path: Common Attributes > Likelihood of Exploit

This element contains a rough estimate at the likelihood of exploitation of an exposed weakness. Many factors can impact this value which is why it should only be regarded as an approximation.


Local Reference ID

Schema path: Local Reference ID

The Local_Reference_ID is an optional value for the related Local Reference entry identifier as a string. Only one Local_Reference_ID element can exist for each Reference element (ex: R.78.1). Text citing this reference should use the format [R.78.1].


Maintenance Note

Schema path: Maintenance Notes > Maintenance Note

This element describes a significant maintenance task within this entry that still need to be addressed, such as clarifying the concepts involved or improving relationships. It should be filled out in any entry that is still undergoing significant review by the CWE team.


Maintenance Notes

Schema path: Maintenance Notes

This element contains one or more Maintenance_Note elements which each contain significant maintenance tasks within this entry that still need to be addressed, such as clarifying the concepts involved or improving relationships. It should be filled out in any entry that is still undergoing significant review by the CWE team.


Mapped Node ID

Schema path: Common Attributes > Taxonomy Mappings > Taxonomy Mapping > Mapped Node ID

This element identifies the ID of the entry to which this weakness is being mapped in taxonomy Taxonomy_Name.


Mapped Node Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Taxonomy Mappings > Taxonomy Mapping > Mapped Node Name

This element identifies the name of the entry to which this weakness is being mapped in taxonomy Taxonomy_Name.


Mapped Taxonomy Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Taxonomy Mappings > Taxonomy Mapping > Mapped Taxonomy Name

This attribute identifies the taxonomy to which this weakness has a similar or equivalent entry.


Mapping Fit

Schema path: Common Attributes > Taxonomy Mappings > Taxonomy Mapping > Mapping Fit

This element identifies how close to the original taxonomy this node was mapped.


Method Description

Schema path: Common Attributes > Detection Methods > Detection Method > Method Description

The Method_Description element is intended to provide some context of how this Detection_Method can be applied to a specific weakness. This should be filled out for some weakness classes and bases.


Method Effectiveness

Schema path: Common Attributes > Detection Methods > Detection Method > Method Effectiveness

This element summarizes how effective the detection method may be in detecting the associated weakness. This assumes the use of best-of-breed tools, analysts, and methods. There is limited consideration for financial costs, labor, or time.


Method Effectiveness Notes

Schema path: Common Attributes > Detection Methods > Detection Method > Method Effectiveness Notes

The Method_Effectiveness_Notes element is intended to discuss the strengths and shortcomings of this detection method. This should be filled out for some weakness classes and bases.


Method Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Detection Methods > Detection Method > Method Name

The Method_Name element identifies the particular weakness detection method to be described. This should be filled out for some weakness classes and bases.


Mitigation

Schema path: Mitigation

This subelement contains a single method for mitigating this weakness. One or more mitigations must be included inside of a Potential_Mitigations element.


Mitigation Description

Schema path: Mitigation > Mitigation Description

This subelement contains the description of this individual mitigation.


Mitigation Effectiveness

Schema path: Mitigation > Mitigation Effectiveness

This element summarizes how effective the mitigation may be in preventing the weakness.


Mitigation Effectiveness Notes

Schema path: Mitigation > Mitigation Effectiveness Notes

The Mitigation_Effectiveness_Notes element is intended to identify the strengths and shortcomings of this mitigation on a specific weakness.


Mitigation ID

Schema path: Mitigation > Mitigation ID

The Mitigation_ID stores the value for the related Mitigation entry identifier as a string. Only one Mitigation_ID element can exist for each Mitigation element (ex: MIT-1). However, Mitigations across CWE with the same ID should only vary in small details.


Mitigation Phase

Schema path: Mitigation > Mitigation Phase

The Mitigation_Phase element indicates the development life cycle phase during which this particular mitigation may be applied.


Mitigation Strategy

Schema path: Mitigation > Mitigation Strategy

The general strategy for protecting a system to which this mitigation contributes.


Mode of Introduction

Schema path: Common Attributes > Modes of Introduction > Mode of Introduction

This element identifies the mode by which the weakness may be introduced. If there are multiple ways in which the weakness may be introduced, then separate Mode_of_Introduction elements should be included for each. This element should be populated for all weakness bases and variants.


Modes of Introduction

Schema path: Common Attributes > Modes of Introduction

This element describes the typical scenarios under which this weakness can be introduced into the software. It should be filled out as needed.


Modification

Schema path: Content History > Modification

This element houses the subelements which identify the modifier and modifier's comments related to this entry. A new Modification element should exist for each modification of the entry content. This element has a single attribute, Modification_Source, which indicates whether this modification was made by a CWE team member or an external party.


Modification Comment

Schema path: Content History > Modification > Modification Comment

This element provides the modifier with a place to store any comments regarding the content of this weakness entry, such as assumptions made, reasons for omitting elements, contact information, pending questions, etc.


Modification Date

Schema path: Content History > Modification > Modification Date

This element should contain the date of the modifications.


Modification Importance

Schema path: Content History > Modification > Modification Importance

This attribute identifies how significant the modification is to the weakness with regard to the meaning and interpretation of the weakness. If a modification has a value of Critical, then the meaning of the entry or how it might be interpreted has changed and requires attention from anyone previously dependent on the weakness.


Modification Source

Schema path: Content History > Modification > Modification Source

This attribute indicates whether this modification was created by a CWE team member or provided by an external party.


Modifier

Schema path: Content History > Modification > Modifier

This element should contain the name of the person modifying this entry.


Modifier Organization

Schema path: Content History > Modification > Modifier Organization

This element should contain the modifier's organization.


Name (Category)

Schema path: Category > Name

The Name is a descriptive name used to give the reader an idea of what the commonality is amongst the children of this category. All words in the name should be capitalized except for articles and prepositions unless they begin or end the name. Subsequent words in a hyphenated chain are also not capitalized. This is required for all Categories.


Name (Compound Element)

Schema path: Compound Element > Name

The Name is a descriptive name used to give the reader an idea of the meaning behind the compound weakness structure. All words in the name should be capitalized except for articles and prepositions unless they begin or end the name. Subsequent words in a hyphenated chain are also not capitalized. This is required for all Compound_Elements.


Name (View)

Schema path: View > Name

The Name is a descriptive attribute used to give the reader an idea of what perspective this view represents. All words in the name should be capitalized except for articles and prepositions unless they begin or end the name. Subsequent words in a hyphenated chain are also not capitalized. This is required for all Views.


Name (Weakness)

Schema path: Weakness > Name

This attribute is the string which identifies the entry. The name should focus on the weakness being described in the entry and should avoid focusing on the attack which exploits the weakness or the consequences of exploiting the weakness. All words in the entry name should be capitalized except for articles and prepositions unless they begin or end the name. Subsequent words in a hyphenated chain are also not capitalized. This is required for all Weaknesses.


Name Change Date

Schema path: Content History > Previous Entry Names > Previous Entry Name > Name Change Date

This lists the date on which this name was changed to something else. Typically, this date will be closely aligned with new releases of CWE.


Note

Schema path: Other Notes > Note

This element contains any additional notes or comments that cannot be captured using other elements. New elements might be defined in the future to contain this information. It should be filled out where needed.


Observed Example

Schema path: Common Attributes > Observed Examples > Observed Example

This element specifies a reference to a specific observed instance of this weakness in the real-world; Typically this will be a CVE reference. Each Observed_Example element represents a single example. This element should be filled out for as many entries as possible.


Observed Example Description

Schema path: Common Attributes > Observed Examples > Observed Example > Observed Example Description

This field should contain a product independent description of the example being cited. The description should present an unambiguous correlation between the example being described and the weakness which it is meant to exemplify. It should also be short and easy to understand.


Observed Example Link

Schema path: Common Attributes > Observed Examples > Observed Example > Observed Example Link

This field should provide a valid URL where more information regarding this example can be obtained.


Observed Example Reference

Schema path: Common Attributes > Observed Examples > Observed Example > Observed Example Reference

This field should contain the identifier for the example being cited. For example, if a CVE is being cited it should be of the standard CVE identifier format, such as CVE-2005-1951 or CVE-1999-0046.


Observed Examples

Schema path: Common Attributes > Observed Examples

This structure contains one or more Observed_Example elements, each of which is a reference to a specific observed instance of this weakness in the real world; typically this will be a CVE reference.


Operating System

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Operating Systems > Operating System

This element identifies a single Operating_System in which this entry may exist and with what frequency on the specified OS.


Operating System Class

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Operating Systems > Operating System Class

This element identifies a single class of operating systems, specified in Operating_System_Class_Description, in which this entry may exist. Suggested values include: Linux, Windows, UNIX, BSD, and Mac OS.


Operating System Class Description

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Operating Systems > Operating System Class > Operating System Class Description

This subelement identifies families or groups of operating systems in which this weakness is likely to exist.


Operating System Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Operating Systems > Operating System > Operating System Name

This subelement identifies operating systems in which this weakness is likely to exist.


Operating Systems

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Operating Systems

This element contains one or more Operating_System subelements which each represent an OS in which this weakness is likely to exist.


Ordinal

Schema path: Relationship > Relationship Views > Relationship View ID > Ordinal

The ordinal attribute is used to determine if this relationship is the primary ChildOf relationship for this weakness entry for a given Relationship_View_ID element.. This attribute can only have the value "Primary" and should only be included for the primary parent/child relationship.


Ordinality

Schema path: Common Attributes > Weakness Ordinalities > Weakness Ordinality > Ordinality

This element indicates whether this weakness exists independent of other weaknesses, Primary, or whether it is the result of the presence of some other weaknesses, Resultant.


Ordinality Description

Schema path: Common Attributes > Weakness Ordinalities > Weakness Ordinality > Ordinality Description

This element describes context in which this entry is either Primary or Resultant, depending on the corresponding value for Ordinality.


Other Notes

Schema path: Other Notes

This element contains one or more Note elements, each of which provide any additional notes or comments that cannot be captured using other elements. New elements might be defined in the future to contain this information. It should be filled out where needed.


Platform Notes

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Platform Notes

This element provides additional information related to the applicable platforms of a weakness if needed.


Potential Mitigations

Schema path: Common Attributes > Potential Mitigations

This element contains the potential mitigations associated with this weakness. It contains one or more mitigation subelements which each represent individual mitigations for this weakness. This should be included and completed to the extent possible for all weakness bases and variants.


Prevalence (Architectural Paradigm)

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Architectural Paradigms > Architectural Paradigm > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that runs on the specified paradigm.


Prevalence (Environment)

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Environments > Environment > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that runs on the specified environment.


Prevalence (Hardware Architecture)

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Hardware Architectures > Hardware Architecture > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that runs on the specified hardware architecture.


Prevalence (Hardware Architecture Class)

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Hardware Architectures > Hardware Architecture Class > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that runs on the specified hardware architecture within the specified hardware architecture class.


Prevalence (Language)

Schema path: Languages List Type > Language > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that is written in the specified language.


Prevalence (Language Class)

Schema path: Languages List Type > Language Class > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that is written in languages within the specified language class.


Prevalence (Operating System)

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Operating Systems > Operating System > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that runs on the specified operating system.


Prevalence (Operating System Class)

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Operating Systems > Operating System Class > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that runs on the specified operating system within this operating system class.


Prevalence (Technology Class)

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Technology Classes > Technology Class > Prevalence

This attribute identifies the prevalence with which this weakness may occur within code that runs on the specified technology class.


Previous Entry Name

Schema path: Content History > Previous Entry Names > Previous Entry Name

This element identifies a name that was previously used for this entry.


Previous Entry Names

Schema path: Content History > Previous Entry Names

This structure contains one or more Previous_Entry_Name elements, each of which describes a previous name that was used for this entry. This should be filled out whenever a substantive name change occurs.


Reference

Schema path: Reference List Type > Reference

Each Reference subelement should provide a single source from which more information and deeper insight can be obtained, such as a research paper or an excerpt from a publication. Multiple Reference subelements can exist. The sole attribute of this element is the id. The id is optional and translates to a preceding footnote below the context notes if the author of the entry wants to cite a reference. Not all subelements need to be completed, since some are designed for web references and others are designed for book references. The fields Reference_Author and Reference_Title should be filled out for all references if possible. Reference_Section and Reference_Date can be included for either book references or online references. Reference_Edition, Reference_Publication, Reference_Publisher, and Reference_PubDate are intended for book references, however they can be included where appropriate for other types of references. Reference_Link is intended for web references, however it can be included for book references as well if applicable.


Reference Author

Schema path: Reference Author

This element identifies an individual author of the material being referenced. It is not required, but may be repeated sequentially in order to identify multiple authors for a single piece of material.


Reference Date

Schema path: Reference Date

This element identifies the date when the reference was included in the entry. This provides the reader with a time line for when the material in the reference, usually the link, was valid. The date should be of the format YYYY-MM-DD.


Reference Edition

Schema path: Reference Edition

This element identifies the edition of the material being referenced in the event that multiple editions of the material exist. This will usually only be useful for book references.


Reference ID

Schema path: Reference ID

The Reference_ID is an optional value for the related Reference entry identifier as a string. Only one Reference_ID element can exist for each Reference element (ex: REF-1). However, References across CWE with the same ID should only vary in small details. Text citing this reference should use the local reference ID, as this ID is only for reference library related consistency checking and maintenance.


Reference Link

Schema path: Reference Link

This element should hold the URL for the material being referenced, if one exists. This should always be used for web references, and may optionally be used for book and other publication references.


Reference List Type

Schema path: Reference List Type

The References_List_Type contains one or more Reference elements, each of which provide further reading and insight into the item. This should be filled out as appropriate.


Reference PubDate

Schema path: Reference PubDate

This field describes the date when the reference was published YYYY.


Reference Publication

Schema path: Reference Publication

This element identifies the publication source of the reference material, if one exists.


Reference Publisher

Schema path: Reference Publisher

This element identifies the publisher of the reference material, if one exists.


Reference Section

Schema path: Reference Section

This element is intended to provide a means of identifying the exact location of the material inside of the publication source, such as the relevant pages of a research paper, the appropriate chapters from a book, etc. This is useful for both book references and internet references.


Reference Title

Schema path: Reference Title

This element identifies the title of the material being referenced. It is not required if the material does not have a title.


References (Common Attributes)

Schema path: Common Attributes > References

The References element contains one or more Reference elements, each of which provide further reading and insight into this weakness. This may include an alternate interpretation of this weakness, a deeper technical breakdown of this weakness such as a research paper, deeper information on mitigations, or background details on this technical area. This should be filled out for all weakness bases and some variants.


References (Mitigation)

Schema path: Mitigation > References

The References element contains one or more Reference elements, each of which provide further reading and insight into this view. This should be filled out when the view is based on sources or projects that are external to the CWE project.


References (View Attributes)

Schema path: View Attributes > References

The References element contains one or more Reference elements, each of which provide further reading and insight into this view. This should be filled out when the view is based on sources or projects that are external to the CWE project.


Related Attack Pattern

Schema path: Common Attributes > Related Attack Patterns > Related Attack Pattern

The Related_Attack_Pattern subelement identifies a single attack pattern that is associated with this weakness. Its only child, CAPEC_ID is required and identifies the related CAPEC entry. It also has a required attribute, CAPEC_Version, which identifies which version of CAPEC is being referenced. More than one Related _Attack_Pattern element can exist, but they must all be contained within a single Related_Attack_Patterns element.


Related Attack Patterns

Schema path: Common Attributes > Related Attack Patterns

The Related_Attack_Patterns element contains all references to CAPEC which will identify related attack patterns to this weakness. It has one or more Related_Attack_Pattern elements as children and each child will point to a single CAPEC entry which is associated with this weakness. This should be filled out to the extent possible for most weaknesses.


Relationship

Schema path: Relationship

Each Relationship identifies an association between this structure, whether it is a Weakness, Category, or Compound_Element and another structure. The relationship also identifies the views under which the relationship is applicable.


Relationship Chain ID

Schema path: Relationship > Relationship Chains > Relationship Chain ID

This element specifies the unique ID of an individual chain element this relationship pertains to.


Relationship Chains

Schema path: Relationship > Relationship Chains

This element contains a list of the individual Chains this relationship pertains to.


Relationship Nature

Schema path: Relationship > Relationship Nature

The Relationship_Nature element defines the nature of the relationship between this element and the target element, such as ChildOf, HasMember or Requires to name a few.


Relationship Note

Schema path: Relationship Notes > Relationship Note

This element contains a note regarding the relationships between CWE entries.


Relationship Notes

Schema path: Relationship Notes

This structure houses one or more Relationship_Note elements, which each contain details regarding the relationships between CWE entries.


Relationship Target Form

Schema path: Relationship > Relationship Target Form

The Relationship_Target_Form element defines the form of the target of this relationship, such as Category, Weakness, View or Compound_Element.


Relationship Target ID

Schema path: Relationship > Relationship Target ID

The Relationship_Target_ID specifies the unique ID of the target element of the relationship.


Relationship View ID

Schema path: Relationship > Relationship Views > Relationship View ID

Specifies the unique ID of the individual view element to which this relationship pertains. This ID must correspond to a View.


Relationship Views

Schema path: Relationship > Relationship Views

This element contains a list of the individual Views to which this relationship pertains.


Relationships

Schema path: Relationships

The Relationships structure contains one or more Relationship elements, each of which identifies an association between this structure, whether it is a Weakness, Category, or Compound_Element and another structure.


Relevant Properties

Schema path: Common Attributes > Relevant Properties

This structure contains one or more Relevant_Property elements. Each Relevant_Property element identifies a property that is required by the code or a resource in order to function as specified. Correctly labeling all of the relevant properties can help to figure out what the root cause of a vulnerability might be.


Relevant Property

Schema path: Common Attributes > Relevant Properties > Relevant Property

Each Relevant_Property element identifies a property that is required by the code or a resource in order to function as specified. Correctly labeling all of the relevant properties can help to figure out what the root cause of a vulnerability might be.


Research Gap

Schema path: Research Gaps > Research Gap

This element identifies potential opportunities for the vulnerability research community to conduct further exploration of issues related to this weakness. It is intended to highlight parts of CWE that have not received sufficient attention from researchers. This should be filled out where appropriate for weaknesses and categories.


Research Gaps

Schema path: Research Gaps

This structure contains one or more Research gap elements, each of which identifies potential opportunities for the vulnerability research community to conduct further exploration of issues related to this weakness. It is intended to highlight parts of CWE that have not received sufficient attention from researchers. This should be filled out where appropriate for weaknesses and categories.


Stakeholder

Schema path: View Attributes > View Audience > Audience > Stakeholder

The Stakeholder element specifies what types of members of the CWE community might be interested in this view.


Stakeholder Description

Schema path: View Attributes > View Audience > Audience > Stakeholder Description

The Stakeholder_Description element provides some text describing what properties of this View this particular Stakeholder might find useful.


Status (Category)

Schema path: Category > Status

The Status attribute defines the status level for this category.


Status (Compound Element)

Schema path: Compound Element > Status

The Status attribute defines the status level for this compound element.


Status (View)

Schema path: View > Status

The Status attribute defines the status level for this view.


Status (Weakness)

Schema path: Weakness > Status

The Status attribute defines the status level for this weakness.


Submission

Schema path: Content History > Submission

This element houses the subelements which identify the submitter and the submitter's comments related to this entry. This element has a single attribute, Submission_Source, which provides a general idea of how the initial information for this entry was obtained, whether internal to MITRE, external, donated, etc.


Submission Comment

Schema path: Content History > Submission > Submission Comment

This element provides the author with a place to store any comments regarding the content of this weakness entry, such as assumptions made, reasons for omitting elements, contact information, pending questions, etc.


Submission Date

Schema path: Content History > Submission > Submission Date

This element should provide the date on which this content was authored in YYYY-MM-DD format.


Submission Source

Schema path: Content History > Submission > Submission Source

This attribute identifies how the initial information for this entry was obtained.


Submitter

Schema path: Content History > Submission > Submitter

This element should contain the name of the author for this entry.


Submitter Organization

Schema path: Content History > Submission > Submitter Organization

This element should identify the author's organization.


Taxonomy Mapping

Schema path: Common Attributes > Taxonomy Mappings > Taxonomy Mapping

This structure describes mappings to nodes of other taxonomies that are similar in meaning to this node. Although this may sound similar to Source_Taxonomy, Source_Taxonomy is designed to provide a history and pedigree for the entry, whereas Taxonomy_Mapping allows similar nodes in other collections to be identified as matching concepts with this weakness. For example, Taxonomy_Mapping should be used to map the CWE entries to their OWASP Top 10 equivalents. The sole attribute is "Mapped_Taxonomy_Name" which is used to identify the taxonomy to which this weakness is being mapped.


Taxonomy Mappings

Schema path: Common Attributes > Taxonomy Mappings

The Taxonomy_Mappings element contains one or more Taxonomy_Mapping structures which provide a mapping from this entry to an entry in a different taxonomy.


Technology Class

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Technology Classes > Technology Class

This element identifies a single Technology_Class in which this entry may exist and with what frequency in the specified class.


Technology Classes

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Technology Classes

This element contains one or more individual Technology_Class subelements which each represent a technology class in which this weakness is likely to exist.


Technology Name

Schema path: Common Attributes > Applicable Platforms > Technology Classes > Technology Class > Technology Name

This subelement identifies a technology class in which this weakness is likely to exist.


Term

Schema path: Alternate Terms > Alternate Term > Term

This element contains the actual term for the Alternate_Term element. Each term should follow the same conventions as the entry Name attribute.


Terminology Note

Schema path: Common Attributes > Terminology Notes > Terminology Note

This element is used for general discussion of terminology issues associated with this weakness. It is different from the Alternate_Terms element, which is focused on discussion of specific terms that are commonly used. It should be filled out in any entry for which there is no established terminology, or if there are multiple uses of the same key term.


Terminology Notes

Schema path: Common Attributes > Terminology Notes

This element contains one or more Terminology_Note elements that each contain a discussion of terminology issues related to this weakness. It is different from the Alternate_Terms element, which is focused on discussion of specific terms that are commonly used. It should be filled out in any entry for which there is no established terminology, or if there are multiple uses of the same key term.


Text

Schema path: Text

Presentation Element: This element is used to define a paragraph of text.


Text Title

Schema path: Text Title

Presentation Element: This element is used to define bold-faced title for a subsequent block of text.


Theoretical Note

Schema path: Common Attributes > Theoretical Notes > Theoretical Note

This element is used to describe the weakness using vulnerability theory concepts, which can be useful in understanding the Research view. It should be filled out as needed, especially in cases where the application of vulnerability theory is not necessarily obvious for the weakness.


Theoretical Notes

Schema path: Common Attributes > Theoretical Notes

This element contains one or more Theoretical_Note elements that each describe the weakness using vulnerability theory concepts. It should be filled out as needed, especially in cases where the application of vulnerability theory is not necessarily obvious for the weakness.


Time of Introduction

Schema path: Common Attributes > Time of Introduction

The Time_of_Introduction element contains the points of time in the software life cycle at which the weakness may be introduced. If there are multiple points of time at which the weakness may be introduced, then separate Introduction elements should be included for each. This element should be populated for all weakness bases and variants.


View

Schema path: View

Each View element represents a perspective with which one might look at the weaknesses in CWE. CWE-699 Development Concepts, CWE-1000 Research Concepts and are two examples of Views.


View Attributes

Schema path: View Attributes

The View_Attributes structure is a collection of common elements which might be shared by all Views.


View Audience

Schema path: View Attributes > View Audience

The View_Audience element provides a reference to the targeted audiences or groups for this view.


View Filter

Schema path: View Attributes > View Filter

The View_Filter element holds an XSL query for identifying which elements are members of an implicit slice. This should only be present for implicit slices.


View Objective

Schema path: View Attributes > View Objective

The View_Objective element describes the perspective from which this View is constructed.


View Structure

Schema path: View Attributes > View Structure

The View_Structure element describes how this view is being constructed. Valid values are: Implicit Slice = a slice based on a filter criteria; Explicit Slice = a slice based on arbitrary membership, as defined by specific relationships between entries; Graph = a bounded graphical slice based on ChildOf relationships.


Views

Schema path: Weakness Catalog > Views

The Views structure contains zero or more View elements. Each View element represents a perspective with which one might look at the weaknesses in CWE. CWE-699 Development View and CWE-1000 Research View are two examples of Views.


Weakness

Schema path: Weakness

Each Weakness element represents an actual weakness entry in CWE, such as CWE-311 Failure to Encrypt Sensitive Data or CWE-326 Weak Encryption.


Weakness Abstraction

Schema path: Weakness > Weakness Abstraction

The Weakness_Abstraction attribute defines the abstraction level for this weakness. Acceptable values are "Class", which is the most abstract type of Weakness such as CWE-362 Race Conditions, "Base" which is a more specific type of weakness that is still mostly independent of a specific resource or technology such as CWE-567 Unsynchronized Access to Shared Data, and "Variant" which is a weakness specific to a particular resource, technology or context.


Weakness Catalog

Schema path: Weakness Catalog

The Weakness_Catalog structure represents a collection of software security issues (flaws, faults, bugs, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, etc). The name used by CWE is usually "CWE". However, if this collection is a subset of CWE, then a more appropriate name should be used. It has two required attributes: Catalog_Name and Catalog_Version.


Weakness Ordinalities

Schema path: Common Attributes > Weakness Ordinalities

This element contains one or more Weakness_Ordinality elements, each of which describes when this entry is primary - where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses, or when this entry might be resultant - where the weakness is typically related to the presence of some other weaknesses. This should be filled out for all Weakness Base and Variant entries.


Weakness Ordinality

Schema path: Common Attributes > Weakness Ordinalities > Weakness Ordinality

This element describes when this entry is primary - where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses, or when this entry might be resultant - where the weakness is typically related to the presence of some other weaknesses. The Ordinality subelement identifies whether or not we are providing context around when this entry is primary, or resultant. The Ordinality_Description contains the description of the context in which this entry is primary or resultant. It is important to note that it is possible for the same entry to be primary in some instances and resultant in others.


Weaknesses

Schema path: Weakness Catalog > Weaknesses

The Weaknesses structure contains zero or more Weakness elements. Each Weakness element represents an actual weakness entry in CWE, such as CWE-311 Failure to Encrypt Sensitive Data or CWE-326 Weak Encryption.


White Box Definition

Schema path: Common Attributes > White Box Definitions > White Box Definition

This element describes the weakness from a white box perspective, meaning that the view includes the knowledge of control flow, data flow, and all other inner workings of the software in which the weakness exists.


White Box Definitions

Schema path: Common Attributes > White Box Definitions

This structure contains one or more White_Box_Definition elements, each of which describes the weakness from a white box perspective, meaning that the view includes the knowledge of control flow, data flow, and all other inner workings of the software in which the weakness exists.


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Page Last Updated: June 23, 2014