CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Weaknesses
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ID

CWE-1025: Comparison Using Wrong Factors

Weakness ID: 1025
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The code performs a comparison between two entities, but the comparison examines the wrong factors or characteristics of the entities, which can lead to incorrect results and resultant weaknesses.
+ Extended Description
This can lead to incorrect results and resultant weaknesses. For example, the code might inadvertently compare references to objects, instead of the relevant contents of those objects, causing two "equal" objects to be considered unequal.
+ 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
ChildOfPillarPillar - a weakness that is the most abstract type of weakness and represents a theme for all class/base/variant weaknesses related to it. A Pillar is different from a Category as a Pillar is still technically a type of weakness that describes a mistake, while a Category represents a common characteristic used to group related things.697Incorrect Comparison
ParentOfVariantVariant - a weakness that is linked to a certain type of product, typically involving a specific language or technology. More specific than a Base weakness. Variant level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 3 to 5 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.486Comparison of Classes by Name
ParentOfVariantVariant - a weakness that is linked to a certain type of product, typically involving a specific language or technology. More specific than a Base weakness. Variant level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 3 to 5 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.595Comparison of Object References Instead of Object Contents
+ Relevant to the view "Software Development" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.438Behavioral Problems
+ 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 life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

PhaseNote
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

Class: Language-Independent (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
Other

Technical Impact: Varies by Context

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

In the example below, two Java String objects are declared and initialized with the same string values and an if statement is used to determine if the strings are equivalent.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
String str1 = new String("Hello");
String str2 = new String("Hello");
if (str1 == str2) {
System.out.println("str1 == str2");
}

However, the if statement will not be executed as the strings are compared using the "==" operator. For Java objects, such as String objects, the "==" operator compares object references, not object values. While the two String objects above contain the same string values, they refer to different object references, so the System.out.println statement will not be executed. To compare object values, the previous code could be modified to use the equals method:

(good code)
 
if (str1.equals(str2)) {
System.out.println("str1 equals str2");
}
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Testing

Thoroughly test the comparison scheme before deploying code into production. Perform positive testing as well as negative testing.
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Primary
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2018-01-04CWE Content TeamMITRE
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Relationships
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Page Last Updated: June 25, 2020