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Common Weakness Enumeration

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ID

CWE-106: Struts: Plug-in Framework not in Use

Weakness ID: 106
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
When an application does not use an input validation framework such as the Struts Validator, there is a greater risk of introducing weaknesses related to insufficient input validation.
+ Extended Description

Unchecked input is the leading cause of vulnerabilities in J2EE applications. Unchecked input leads to cross-site scripting, process control, and SQL injection vulnerabilities, among others.

Although J2EE applications are not generally susceptible to memory corruption attacks, if a J2EE application interfaces with native code that does not perform array bounds checking, an attacker may be able to use an input validation mistake in the J2EE application to launch a buffer overflow attack.

+ Relationships
Section HelpThis table 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
ChildOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.1173Improper Use of Validation Framework
Section HelpThis table 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 "Seven Pernicious Kingdoms" (CWE-700)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More specific than a Pillar Weakness, but more general than a Base Weakness. Class level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 1 or 2 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, and resource.20Improper Input Validation
+ Modes Of Introduction
Section HelpThe 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
Section HelpThis listing shows 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
Section HelpThis table 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
Integrity

Technical Impact: Unexpected State

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

In the following Java example the class RegistrationForm is a Struts framework ActionForm Bean that will maintain user input data from a registration webpage for an online business site. The user will enter registration data and, through the Struts framework, the RegistrationForm bean will maintain the user data.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
public class RegistrationForm extends org.apache.struts.action.ActionForm {

// private variables for registration form
private String name;
private String email;
...

public RegistrationForm() {
super();
}

// getter and setter methods for private variables
...
}

However, the RegistrationForm class extends the Struts ActionForm class which does use the Struts validator plug-in to provide validator capabilities. In the following example, the RegistrationForm Java class extends the ValidatorForm and Struts configuration XML file, struts-config.xml, instructs the application to use the Struts validator plug-in.

(good code)
Example Language: Java 
public class RegistrationForm extends org.apache.struts.validator.ValidatorForm {

// private variables for registration form
private String name;
private String email;
...

public RegistrationForm() {
super();
}

public ActionErrors validate(ActionMapping mapping, HttpServletRequest request) {...}

// getter and setter methods for private variables
...
}

The plug-in tag of the Struts configuration XML file includes the name of the validator plug-in to be used and includes a set-property tag to instruct the application to use the file, validator-rules.xml, for default validation rules and the file, validation.XML, for custom validation.

(good code)
Example Language: XML 
<struts-config>

<form-beans>
<form-bean name="RegistrationForm" type="RegistrationForm"/>
</form-beans>

...

<!-- ========================= Validator plugin ================================= -->
<plug-in className="org.apache.struts.validator.ValidatorPlugIn">
<set-property
property="pathnames"
value="/WEB-INF/validator-rules.xml,/WEB-INF/validation.xml"/>
</plug-in>

</struts-config>
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Strategy: Input Validation

Use an input validation framework such as Struts.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Strategy: Libraries or Frameworks

Use an input validation framework such as Struts.

Phase: Implementation

Strategy: Input Validation

Use the Struts Validator to validate all program input before it is processed by the application. Ensure that there are no holes in the configuration of the Struts Validator. Example uses of the validator include checking to ensure that:

  • Phone number fields contain only valid characters in phone numbers
  • Boolean values are only "T" or "F"
  • Free-form strings are of a reasonable length and composition

Phase: Implementation

Strategy: Libraries or Frameworks

Use the Struts Validator to validate all program input before it is processed by the application. Ensure that there are no holes in the configuration of the Struts Validator. Example uses of the validator include checking to ensure that:

  • Phone number fields contain only valid characters in phone numbers
  • Boolean values are only "T" or "F"
  • Free-form strings are of a reasonable length and composition
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Primary
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
+ Memberships
Section HelpThis MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CWE Categories and Views that reference this weakness as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a weakness fits within the context of external information sources.
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.722OWASP Top Ten 2004 Category A1 - Unvalidated Input
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.990SFP Secondary Cluster: Tainted Input to Command
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsStruts: Plug-in Framework Not In Use
+ References
[REF-6] Katrina Tsipenyuk, Brian Chess and Gary McGraw. "Seven Pernicious Kingdoms: A Taxonomy of Software Security Errors". NIST Workshop on Software Security Assurance Tools Techniques and Metrics. NIST. 2005-11-07. <https://samate.nist.gov/SSATTM_Content/papers/Seven%20Pernicious%20Kingdoms%20-%20Taxonomy%20of%20Sw%20Security%20Errors%20-%20Tsipenyuk%20-%20Chess%20-%20McGraw.pdf>.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2006-07-197 Pernicious Kingdoms
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings, Weakness_Ordinalities
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2010-06-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Other_Notes
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2013-02-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2013-07-17CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-06-23CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes, Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Causal_Nature, Relationships
2019-01-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2021-07-20CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
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Page Last Updated: July 20, 2021