CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

New to CWE? click here!
CWE Most Important Hardware Weaknesses
CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Weaknesses
Home > CWE List > CWE- Individual Dictionary Definition (4.13)  
ID

CWE-696: Incorrect Behavior Order

Weakness ID: 696
Abstraction: Class
Structure: Simple
View customized information:
For users who are interested in more notional aspects of a weakness. Example: educators, technical writers, and project/program managers. For users who are concerned with the practical application and details about the nature of a weakness and how to prevent it from happening. Example: tool developers, security researchers, pen-testers, incident response analysts. For users who are mapping an issue to CWE/CAPEC IDs, i.e., finding the most appropriate CWE for a specific issue (e.g., a CVE record). Example: tool developers, security researchers. For users who wish to see all available information for the CWE/CAPEC entry. For users who want to customize what details are displayed.
×

Edit Custom Filter


+ Description
The product performs multiple related behaviors, but the behaviors are performed in the wrong order in ways which may produce resultant weaknesses.
+ 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.691Insufficient Control Flow Management
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.179Incorrect Behavior Order: Early Validation
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.408Incorrect Behavior Order: Early Amplification
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.551Incorrect Behavior Order: Authorization Before Parsing and Canonicalization
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.1190DMA Device Enabled Too Early in Boot Phase
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.1193Power-On of Untrusted Execution Core Before Enabling Fabric Access Control
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.1280Access Control Check Implemented After Asset is Accessed
+ 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
Architecture and Design
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
Integrity

Technical Impact: Alter Execution Logic

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following code attempts to validate a given input path by checking it against an allowlist and then return the canonical path. In this specific case, the path is considered valid if it starts with the string "/safe_dir/".

(bad code)
Example Language: Java 
String path = getInputPath();
if (path.startsWith("/safe_dir/"))
{
File f = new File(path);
return f.getCanonicalPath();
}

The problem with the above code is that the validation step occurs before canonicalization occurs. An attacker could provide an input path of "/safe_dir/../" that would pass the validation step. However, the canonicalization process sees the double dot as a traversal to the parent directory and hence when canonicized the path would become just "/".

To avoid this problem, validation should occur after canonicalization takes place. In this case canonicalization occurs during the initialization of the File object. The code below fixes the issue.

(good code)
Example Language: Java 
String path = getInputPath();
File f = new File(path);
if (f.getCanonicalPath().startsWith("/safe_dir/"))
{
return f.getCanonicalPath();
}

Example 2

This data prints the contents of a specified file requested by a user.

(bad code)
Example Language: PHP 
function printFile($username,$filename){

//read file into string
$file = file_get_contents($filename);
if ($file && isOwnerOf($username,$filename)){
echo $file;
return true;
}
else{
echo 'You are not authorized to view this file';
}
return false;
}

This code first reads a specified file into memory, then prints the file if the user is authorized to see its contents. The read of the file into memory may be resource intensive and is unnecessary if the user is not allowed to see the file anyway.

Example 3

Assume that the module foo_bar implements a protected register. The register content is the asset. Only transactions made by user id (indicated by signal usr_id) 0x4 are allowed to modify the register contents. The signal grant_access is used to provide access.

(bad code)
Example Language: Verilog 
module foo_bar(data_out, usr_id, data_in, clk, rst_n);
output reg [7:0] data_out;
input wire [2:0] usr_id;
input wire [7:0] data_in;
input wire clk, rst_n;
wire grant_access;
always @ (posedge clk or negedge rst_n)
begin
if (!rst_n)
data_out = 0;
else
data_out = (grant_access) ? data_in : data_out;
assign grant_access = (usr_id == 3'h4) ? 1'b1 : 1'b0;
end
endmodule

This code uses Verilog blocking assignments for data_out and grant_access. Therefore, these assignments happen sequentially (i.e., data_out is updated to new value first, and grant_access is updated the next cycle) and not in parallel. Therefore, the asset data_out is allowed to be modified even before the access control check is complete and grant_access signal is set. Since grant_access does not have a reset value, it will be meta-stable and will randomly go to either 0 or 1.

Flipping the order of the assignment of data_out and grant_access should solve the problem. The correct snippet of code is shown below.

(good code)
Example Language: Verilog 
always @ (posedge clk or negedge rst_n)
begin
if (!rst_n)
data_out = 0;
else
assign grant_access = (usr_id == 3'h4) ? 1'b1 : 1'b0;
data_out = (grant_access) ? data_in : data_out;
end
endmodule
+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Chain: Creation of the packet client occurs before initialization is complete (CWE-696) resulting in a read from uninitialized memory (CWE-908), causing memory corruption.
file-system management programs call the setuid and setgid functions in the wrong order and do not check the return values, allowing attackers to gain unintended privileges
C++ web server program calls Process::setuid before calling Process::setgid, preventing it from dropping privileges, potentially allowing CGI programs to be called with higher privileges than intended
Chain: lexer in Java-based GraphQL server does not enforce maximum of tokens early enough (CWE-696), allowing excessive CPU consumption (CWE-1176)
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
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.748CERT C Secure Coding Standard (2008) Appendix - POSIX (POS)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.977SFP Secondary Cluster: Design
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1171SEI CERT C Coding Standard - Guidelines 50. POSIX (POS)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1410Comprehensive Categorization: Insufficient Control Flow Management
+ 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 CodingPOS36-CCWE More AbstractObserve correct revocation order while relinquishing privileges
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2008-09-09
(CWE 1.0, 2008-09-09)
CWE Content TeamMITRE
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-11-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description
2011-03-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2011-06-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Related_Attack_Patterns, Relationships, Weakness_Ordinalities
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-05-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Observed_Examples
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Taxonomy_Mappings
2019-01-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2020-06-25CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Observed_Examples, Relationships
2021-03-15CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Observed_Examples
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
Page Last Updated: October 26, 2023