Common Weakness Enumeration

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CWE-433: Unparsed Raw Web Content Delivery

Weakness ID: 433
Abstraction: Variant
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

Description Summary

The software stores raw content or supporting code under the web document root with an extension that is not specifically handled by the server.

Extended Description

If code is stored in a file with an extension such as ".inc" or ".pl", and the web server does not have a handler for that extension, then the server will likely send the contents of the file directly to the requester without the pre-processing that was expected. When that file contains sensitive information such as database credentials, this may allow the attacker to compromise the application or associated components.

+ Time of Introduction
  • Implementation
  • Operation
+ Applicable Platforms



+ Common Consequences

Technical Impact: Read application data

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following code uses an include file to store database credentials:

(Bad Code)
Example Language: PHP 
$dbName = 'usersDB';
$dbPassword = 'skjdh#67nkjd3$3$';


(Bad Code)
Example Language: PHP 
$db = connectToDB($dbName, $dbPassword);
$db.authenticateUser($username, $password);

If the server does not have an explicit handler set for .inc files it may send the contents of to an attacker without pre-processing, if the attacker requests the file directly. This will expose the database name and password.

+ Observed Examples
".inc" file stored under web document root and returned unparsed by the server
".inc" file stored under web document root and returned unparsed by the server
".inc" file stored under web document root and returned unparsed by the server
".inc" file stored under web document root and returned unparsed by the server
direct request to .pl file leaves it unparsed
.inc file
unparsed config.conf file
Chain: uppercase file extensions causes web server to return script source code instead of executing the script.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Perform a type check before interpreting files.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Do not store sensitive information in files which may be misinterpreted.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfWeakness VariantWeakness Variant219Sensitive Data Under Web Root
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfCategoryCategory429Handler Errors
Development Concepts (primary)699
ChildOfCategoryCategory963SFP Secondary Cluster: Exposed Data
Software Fault Pattern (SFP) Clusters (primary)888
CanFollowWeakness BaseWeakness Base178Improper Handling of Case Sensitivity
Research Concepts1000
CanFollowWeakness BaseWeakness Base430Deployment of Wrong Handler
Research Concepts1000
CanFollowWeakness BaseWeakness Base431Missing Handler
Research Concepts1000
+ Relationship Notes

This overlaps direct requests (CWE-425), alternate path (CWE-424), permissions (CWE-275), and sensitive file under web root (CWE-219).

+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERUnparsed Raw Web Content Delivery
+ References
[REF-7] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 3, "File Handlers", Page 74.. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
PLOVERExternally Mined
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Description, Other_Notes, Relationship_Notes
2010-09-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Description, Potential_Mitigations
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated References, Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships

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Page Last Updated: May 05, 2017