Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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CWE-536: Information Exposure Through Servlet Runtime Error Message

Weakness ID: 536
Abstraction: Variant
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

Description Summary

A servlet error message indicates that there exists an unhandled exception in your web application code and may provide useful information to an attacker.
+ Time of Introduction
  • Implementation
+ Common Consequences

Technical Impact: Read application data

The error message may contain the location of the file in which the offending function is located. This may disclose the web root's absolute path as well as give the attacker the location of application files or configuration information. It may even disclose the portion of code that failed. In many cases, an attacker can use the data to launch further attacks against the system.

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following servlet code does not catch runtime exceptions, meaning that if such an exception were to occur, the container may display potentially dangerous information (such as a full stack trace).

(Bad Code)
Example Language: Java 
public void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
String username = request.getParameter("username");

// May cause unchecked NullPointerException.
if (username.length() < 10) {
+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfWeakness BaseWeakness Base210Information Exposure Through Self-generated Error Message
Development Concepts (primary)699
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfCategoryCategory963SFP Secondary Cluster: Exposed Data
Software Fault Pattern (SFP) Clusters (primary)888
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
Anonymous Tool Vendor (under NDA)Externally Mined
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Sean EidemillerCigitalExternal
added/updated demonstrative examples
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-10-29CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Name
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences, Other_Notes
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2011-03-29Information Leak Through Servlet Runtime Error Message

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Page Last Updated: May 05, 2017