CWE-242: Use of Inherently Dangerous Function
Certain functions behave in dangerous ways regardless of how they are used. Functions in this category were often implemented without taking security concerns into account. The gets() function is unsafe because it does not perform bounds checking on the size of its input. An attacker can easily send arbitrarily-sized input to gets() and overflow the destination buffer. Similarly, the >> operator is unsafe to use when reading into a statically-allocated character array because it does not perform bounds checking on the size of its input. An attacker can easily send arbitrarily-sized input to the >> operator and overflow the destination buffer.
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 "Software Development" (CWE-699)
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.
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.
C (Undetermined Prevalence)
C++ (Undetermined Prevalence)
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.
The code below calls gets() to read information into a buffer.
Example Language: C
The gets() function in C is inherently unsafe.
The code below calls the gets() function to read in data from the command line.
Example Language: C
printf("Please enter your name and press <Enter>\n");
However, the programmer uses the function gets() which is inherently unsafe because it copies all input from STDIN to the buffer without checking size. This allows the user to provide a string that is larger than the buffer size, resulting in an overflow condition.
This 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.
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