CWE-471: Modification of Assumed-Immutable Data (MAID)
The software does not properly protect an assumed-immutable element from being modified by an attacker.
This occurs when a particular input is critical enough to the functioning of the application that it should not be modifiable at all, but it is. Certain resources are often assumed to be immutable when they are not, such as hidden form fields in web applications, cookies, and reverse DNS lookups.
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.
Class: Language-Independent (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.
In the code excerpt below, an array returned by a Java method is modified despite the fact that arrays are mutable.
Example Language: Java
String colors = car.getAllPossibleColors();
colors = "Red";
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.
MAID issues can be primary to many other weaknesses, and they are a major factor in languages that provide easy access to internal program constructs, such as PHP's register_globals and similar features. However, MAID issues can also be resultant from weaknesses that modify internal state; for example, a program might validate some data and store it in memory, but a buffer overflow could overwrite that validated data, leading to a change in program logic.
There are many examples where the MUTABILITY property is a major factor in a vulnerability.
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