CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

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ID

CWE-223: Omission of Security-relevant Information

Weakness ID: 223
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
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+ Description
The product does not record or display information that would be important for identifying the source or nature of an attack, or determining if an action is safe.
+ 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
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.221Information Loss or Omission
ParentOfBaseBase - 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.778Insufficient Logging
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 "Software Development" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1210Audit / Logging Errors
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 "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1009Audit
+ 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
Architecture and DesignOMISSION: This weakness is caused by missing a security tactic during the architecture and design phase.
Implementation
Operation
+ 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

Class: Not Language-Specific (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
Non-Repudiation

Technical Impact: Hide Activities

The source of an attack will be difficult or impossible to determine. This can allow attacks to the system to continue without notice.
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

This code logs suspicious multiple login attempts.

(bad code)
Example Language: PHP 
function login($userName,$password){
if(authenticate($userName,$password)){
return True;
}
else{
incrementLoginAttempts($userName);
if(recentLoginAttempts($userName) > 5){
writeLog("Failed login attempt by User: " . $userName . " at " + date('r') );
}
}
}

This code only logs failed login attempts when a certain limit is reached. If an attacker knows this limit, they can stop their attack from being discovered by avoiding the limit.

Example 2

This code prints the contents of a file if a user has permission.

(bad code)
Example Language: PHP 
function readFile($filename){
$user = getCurrentUser();
$realFile = $filename;

//resolve file if its a symbolic link
if(is_link($filename)){
$realFile = readlink($filename);
}

if(fileowner($realFile) == $user){
echo file_get_contents($realFile);
return;
}
else{
echo 'Access denied';
writeLog($user . ' attempted to access the file '. $filename . ' on '. date('r'));
}
}

While the code logs a bad access attempt, it logs the user supplied name for the file, not the canonicalized file name. An attacker can obscure their target by giving the script the name of a link to the file they are attempting to access. Also note this code contains a race condition between the is_link() and readlink() functions (CWE-363).

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Login attempts are not recorded if the user disconnects before the maximum number of tries.
Sender's IP address not recorded in outgoing e-mail.
Failed authentication attempts are not recorded if later attempt succeeds.
+ 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
MemberOfViewView - a subset of CWE entries that provides a way of examining CWE content. The two main view structures are Slices (flat lists) and Graphs (containing relationships between entries).884CWE Cross-section
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.997SFP Secondary Cluster: Information Loss
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1036OWASP Top Ten 2017 Category A10 - Insufficient Logging & Monitoring
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1355OWASP Top Ten 2021 Category A09:2021 - Security Logging and Monitoring Failures
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1413Comprehensive Categorization: Protection Mechanism Failure
+ Vulnerability Mapping Notes

Usage: Allowed

(this CWE ID could be used to map to real-world vulnerabilities)

Reason: Acceptable-Use

Rationale:

This CWE entry is at the Base level of abstraction, which is a preferred level of abstraction for mapping to the root causes of vulnerabilities.

Comments:

Carefully read both the name and description to ensure that this mapping is an appropriate fit. Do not try to 'force' a mapping to a lower-level Base/Variant simply to comply with this preferred level of abstraction.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVEROmission of Security-relevant Information
+ References
[REF-62] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 2, "Accountability", Page 40. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2006-07-19
(CWE Draft 3, 2006-07-19)
PLOVER
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, References, Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Demonstrative_Examples, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
2018-03-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2021-10-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-01-31CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description
2023-04-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-06-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Mapping_Notes
2023-10-26CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Observed_Examples
Page Last Updated: October 26, 2023