CWE-654: Reliance on a Single Factor in a Security Decision
A protection mechanism relies exclusively, or to a large extent, on the evaluation of a single condition or the integrity of a single object or entity in order to make a decision about granting access to restricted resources or functionality.
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)
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.
Password-only authentication is perhaps the most well-known example of use of a single factor. Anybody who knows a user's password can impersonate that user.
When authenticating, use multiple factors, such as "something you know" (such as a password) and "something you have" (such as a hardware-based one-time password generator, or a biometric device).
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.
This node is closely associated with the term "Separation of Privilege." This term is used in several different ways in the industry, but they generally combine two closely related principles: compartmentalization (CWE-653) and using only one factor in a security decision (this node). Proper compartmentalization implicitly introduces multiple factors into a security decision, but there can be cases in which multiple factors are required for authentication or other mechanisms that do not involve compartmentalization, such as performing all required checks on a submitted certificate. It is likely that CWE-653 and CWE-654 will provoke further discussion.
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