CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

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Home > CWE List > CWE- Individual Dictionary Definition (4.13)  
ID

CWE-579: J2EE Bad Practices: Non-serializable Object Stored in Session

Weakness ID: 579
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
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+ Description
The product stores a non-serializable object as an HttpSession attribute, which can hurt reliability.
+ Extended Description
A J2EE application can make use of multiple JVMs in order to improve application reliability and performance. In order to make the multiple JVMs appear as a single application to the end user, the J2EE container can replicate an HttpSession object across multiple JVMs so that if one JVM becomes unavailable another can step in and take its place without disrupting the flow of the application. This is only possible if all session data is serializable, allowing the session to be duplicated between the JVMs.
+ 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.573Improper Following of Specification by Caller
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.1018Manage User Sessions
+ 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
ImplementationREALIZATION: This weakness is caused during implementation of 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

Java (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
Other

Technical Impact: Quality Degradation

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following class adds itself to the session, but because it is not serializable, the session can no longer be replicated.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
public class DataGlob {
String globName;
String globValue;

public void addToSession(HttpSession session) {
session.setAttribute("glob", this);
}
}
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

In order for session replication to work, the values the product stores as attributes in the session must implement the Serializable interface.
+ Detection Methods

Automated Static Analysis

Automated static analysis, commonly referred to as Static Application Security Testing (SAST), can find some instances of this weakness by analyzing source code (or binary/compiled code) without having to execute it. Typically, this is done by building a model of data flow and control flow, then searching for potentially-vulnerable patterns that connect "sources" (origins of input) with "sinks" (destinations where the data interacts with external components, a lower layer such as the OS, etc.)

Effectiveness: High

+ 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
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.998SFP Secondary Cluster: Glitch in Computation
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1348OWASP Top Ten 2021 Category A04:2021 - Insecure Design
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1412Comprehensive Categorization: Poor Coding Practices
+ 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 Variant 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
Software Fault PatternsSFP1Glitch in computation
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2006-12-15
(CWE Draft 5, 2006-12-15)
CWE Community
Submitted by members of the CWE community to extend early CWE versions
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Other_Notes
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-06-23CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2021-10-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-01-31CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Potential_Mitigations
2023-04-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Detection_Factors, Relationships, Time_of_Introduction
2023-06-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Mapping_Notes
Page Last Updated: October 26, 2023