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Common Weakness Enumeration

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ID

CWE-263: Password Aging with Long Expiration

Weakness ID: 263
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
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+ Description
The product supports password aging, but the expiration period is too long.
+ Extended Description

Password aging (or password rotation) is a policy that forces users to change their passwords after a defined time period passes, such as every 30 or 90 days. A long expiration provides more time for attackers to conduct password cracking before users are forced to change to a new password.

Note that while password aging was once considered an important security feature, it has since fallen out of favor by many, because it is not as effective against modern threats compared to other mechanisms such as slow hashes. In addition, forcing frequent changes can unintentionally encourage users to select less-secure passwords. However, password aging is still in use due to factors such as compliance requirements, e.g., Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

+ 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.1390Weak Authentication
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.255Credentials Management 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.1010Authenticate Actors
+ 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 DesignCOMMISSION: This weakness refers to an incorrect design related to an architectural security tactic.
+ 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
Access Control

Technical Impact: Gain Privileges or Assume Identity

As passwords age, the probability that they are compromised grows.
+ Likelihood Of Exploit
Low
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

A system requires the changing of passwords every five years.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Ensure that password aging is limited so that there is a defined maximum age for passwords. Note that if the expiration window is too short, it can cause users to generate poor or predictable passwords.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Ensure that the user is notified several times leading up to the password expiration.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Create mechanisms to prevent users from reusing passwords or creating similar passwords.

Phase: Implementation

Developers might disable clipboard paste operations into password fields as a way to discourage users from pasting a password into a clipboard. However, this might encourage users to choose less-secure passwords that are easier to type, and it can reduce the usability of password managers [REF-1294].

Effectiveness: Discouraged Common Practice

+ 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.951SFP Secondary Cluster: Insecure Authentication Policy
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1396Comprehensive Categorization: Access Control
+ 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
CLASPAllowing password aging
+ References
[REF-44] Michael Howard, David LeBlanc and John Viega. "24 Deadly Sins of Software Security". "Sin 19: Use of Weak Password-Based Systems." Page 279. McGraw-Hill. 2010.
[REF-18] Secure Software, Inc.. "The CLASP Application Security Process". 2005. <https://cwe.mitre.org/documents/sources/TheCLASPApplicationSecurityProcess.pdf>.
[REF-1305] Kurt Seifried and other members of the CWE-Research mailing list. "Discussion Thread: Time to retire CWE-262 and CWE-263". 2021-12-03. <https://www.mail-archive.com/cwe-research-list@mitre.org/msg00018.html>. URL validated: 2022-10-11.
[REF-1289] Lance Spitzner. "Time for Password Expiration to Die". 2021-06-27. <https://www.sans.org/blog/time-for-password-expiration-to-die/>.
[REF-1290] Lorrie Cranor. "Time to rethink mandatory password changes". 2016-03-02. <https://www.ftc.gov/policy/advocacy-research/tech-at-ftc/2016/03/time-rethink-mandatory-password-changes>.
[REF-1291] Eugene Spafford. "Security Myths and Passwords". 2006-04-19. <https://www.cerias.purdue.edu/site/blog/post/password-change-myths/>.
[REF-1292] National Cyber Security Centre. "Password administration for system owners". 2018-11-19. <https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/passwords>. URL validated: 2023-04-07.
[REF-1293] NIST. "Digital Identity Guidelines: Authentication and Lifecycle Management(SP 800-63B)". 2017-06. <https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-63b.pdf>. URL validated: 2023-04-07.
[REF-1294] National Cyber Security Centre. "Let them paste passwords". 2017-01-02. <https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/let-them-paste-passwords>. URL validated: 2023-04-07.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2006-07-19
(CWE Draft 3, 2006-07-19)
CLASP
+ Contributions
Contribution DateContributorOrganization
2021-12-03Kurt Seifried, Chris Eng, G. Ann Campbell, Larry Shields, Jeffrey Walton, Jason Dryhurst-Smith, and other members of the CWE Community
Gave feedback on how to update CWE-262 and CWE-263 due to changing password management practices
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes, Relationships
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Likelihood_of_Exploit, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, References
2020-08-20CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2022-10-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Potential_Mitigations, References, Relationships
2023-04-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2023-06-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Mapping_Notes
+ Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Allowing Unchecked Password Aging
Page Last Updated: October 26, 2023