Common Weakness Enumeration

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CWE-615: Information Exposure Through Comments

Weakness ID: 615
Abstraction: Variant
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

Description Summary

While adding general comments is very useful, some programmers tend to leave important data, such as: filenames related to the web application, old links or links which were not meant to be browsed by users, old code fragments, etc.

Extended Description

An attacker who finds these comments can map the application's structure and files, expose hidden parts of the site, and study the fragments of code to reverse engineer the application, which may help develop further attacks against the site.

+ Time of Introduction
  • Implementation
+ Common Consequences

Technical Impact: Read application data

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following comment, embedded in a JSP, will be displayed in the resulting HTML output.

(Bad Code)
Example Languages: HTML and JSP 
<!-- FIXME: calling this with more than 30 args kills the JDBC server -->
+ Observed Examples
Version numbers and internal hostnames leaked in HTML comments.
CMS places full pathname of server in HTML comment.
blog software leaks real username in HTML comment.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Distribution

Remove comments which have sensitive information about the design/implementation of the application. Some of the comments may be exposed to the user and affect the security posture of the application.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfWeakness VariantWeakness Variant540Information Exposure Through Source Code
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 Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Description
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Observed_Examples, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Name
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences
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 Comments

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Page Last Updated: May 05, 2017