CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

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ID

CWE-684: Incorrect Provision of Specified Functionality

Weakness ID: 684
Abstraction: Class
Structure: Simple
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+ Description
The code does not function according to its published specifications, potentially leading to incorrect usage.
+ Extended Description
When providing functionality to an external party, it is important that the product behaves in accordance with the details specified. When requirements of nuances are not documented, the functionality may produce unintended behaviors for the caller, possibly leading to an exploitable state.
+ 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
ChildOfPillarPillar - a weakness that is the most abstract type of weakness and represents a theme for all class/base/variant weaknesses related to it. A Pillar is different from a Category as a Pillar is still technically a type of weakness that describes a mistake, while a Category represents a common characteristic used to group related things.710Improper Adherence to Coding Standards
ParentOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.392Missing Report of Error Condition
ParentOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.393Return of Wrong Status Code
ParentOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.440Expected Behavior Violation
ParentOfClassClass - 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.446UI Discrepancy for Security Feature
ParentOfClassClass - 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.451User Interface (UI) Misrepresentation of Critical Information
ParentOfClassClass - 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.912Hidden Functionality
ParentOfBaseBase - a weakness that is still mostly independent of a resource or technology, but with sufficient details to provide specific methods for detection and prevention. Base level weaknesses typically describe issues in terms of 2 or 3 of the following dimensions: behavior, property, technology, language, and resource.1245Improper Finite State Machines (FSMs) in Hardware Logic
+ 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
Implementation
+ 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

In the following snippet from a doPost() servlet method, the server returns "200 OK" (default) even if an error occurs.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
try {

// Something that may throw an exception.
...
} catch (Throwable t) {
logger.error("Caught: " + t.toString());
return;
}

Example 2

In the following example, an HTTP 404 status code is returned in the event of an IOException encountered in a Java servlet. A 404 code is typically meant to indicate a non-existent resource and would be somewhat misleading in this case.

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
try {

// something that might throw IOException
...
} catch (IOException ioe) {
response.sendError(SC_NOT_FOUND);
}
+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Error checking routine in PKCS#11 library returns "OK" status even when invalid signature is detected, allowing spoofed messages.
Chain: System call returns wrong value (CWE-393), leading to a resultant NULL dereference (CWE-476).
Program uses large timeouts on unconfirmed connections resulting from inconsistency in linked lists implementations.
UI inconsistency; visited URLs list not cleared when "Clear History" option is selected.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Ensure that your code strictly conforms to specifications.
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Indirect
(where the weakness is a quality issue that might indirectly make it easier to introduce security-relevant weaknesses or make them more difficult to detect)
Primary
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
+ 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.735CERT C Secure Coding Standard (2008) Chapter 2 - Preprocessor (PRE)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1001SFP Secondary Cluster: Use of an Improper API
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-with-Review

(this CWE ID could be used to map to real-world vulnerabilities in limited situations requiring careful review)

Reason: Abstraction

Rationale:

This CWE entry is a Class and might have Base-level children that would be more appropriate

Comments:

Examine children of this entry to see if there is a better fit
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CERT C Secure CodingPRE09-CDo not replace secure functions with less secure functions
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2008-04-11
(CWE Draft 9, 2008-04-11)
CWE Content TeamMITRE
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Relationships
2008-11-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2010-12-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Name
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-02-18CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Type
2019-01-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Weakness_Ordinalities
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2022-04-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-01-31CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description
2023-04-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2023-06-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Mapping_Notes
2023-10-26CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Observed_Examples
+ Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2011-03-29Failure to Provide Specified Functionality
Page Last Updated: October 26, 2023