Common Weakness Enumeration

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CWE-354: Improper Validation of Integrity Check Value

Weakness ID: 354
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software does not validate or incorrectly validates the integrity check values or "checksums" of a message. This may prevent it from detecting if the data has been modified or corrupted in transmission.
+ Extended Description
Improper validation of checksums before use results in an unnecessary risk that can easily be mitigated. The protocol specification describes the algorithm used for calculating the checksum. It is then a simple matter of implementing the calculation and verifying that the calculated checksum and the received checksum match. Improper verification of the calculated checksum and the received checksum can lead to far greater consequences.
+ 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)
+ Relevant to the view "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
MemberOfCategoryCategory1020Verify Message Integrity
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
ChildOfClassClass345Insufficient Verification of Data Authenticity
+ 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 software life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

Architecture and Design
ImplementationREALIZATION: This weakness is caused during implementation of an architectural security tactic.
+ 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.


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.


Technical Impact: Modify Application Data; Other

Integrity checks usually use a secret key that helps authenticate the data origin. Skipping integrity checking generally opens up the possibility that new data from an invalid source can be injected.

Technical Impact: Other

Data that is parsed and used may be corrupted.

Technical Impact: Hide Activities; Other

Without a checksum check, it is impossible to determine if any changes have been made to the data after it was sent.
+ Likelihood Of Exploit
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following example demonstrates the weakness.

(bad code)
Example Language:
sd = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_DGRAM, 0); serv.sin_family = AF_INET;
serv.sin_addr.s_addr = htonl(INADDR_ANY);
servr.sin_port = htons(1008);
bind(sd, (struct sockaddr *) & serv, sizeof(serv));
while (1) {

memset(msg, 0x0, MAX_MSG);
clilen = sizeof(cli);
if (inet_ntoa(cli.sin_addr)==...) n = recvfrom(sd, msg, MAX_MSG, 0, (struct sockaddr *) & cli, &clilen);

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
while(true) {
DatagramPacket packet = new DatagramPacket(data,data.length,IPAddress, port);

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Ensure that the checksums present in messages are properly checked in accordance with the protocol specification before they are parsed and used.
+ Memberships
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.
MemberOfViewView884CWE Cross-section
MemberOfCategoryCategory993SFP Secondary Cluster: Incorrect Input Handling
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CLASPFailure to check integrity check value
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Name, Relationships
2009-10-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes
2010-12-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns, Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Demonstrative_Examples, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2009-03-10Failure to Check Integrity Check Value

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018