Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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CWE-708: Incorrect Ownership Assignment

Weakness ID: 708
Abstraction: Base
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

Description Summary

The software assigns an owner to a resource, but the owner is outside of the intended control sphere.

Extended Description

This may allow the resource to be manipulated by actors outside of the intended control sphere.

+ Time of Introduction
  • Architecture and Design
  • Implementation
  • Operation
+ Applicable Platforms



+ Common Consequences

Technical Impact: Read application data; Modify application data

An attacker could read and modify data for which they do not have permissions to access directly.

+ Observed Examples
File system sets wrong ownership and group when creating a new file.
OS installs program with bin owner/group, allowing modification.
Manager does not properly restore ownership of a reusable resource when a user logs out, allowing privilege escalation.
Backup software restores symbolic links with incorrect uid/gid.
Product changes the ownership of files that a symlink points to, instead of the symlink itself.
Component assigns ownership of sensitive directory tree to a user account, which can be leveraged to perform privileged operations.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Policy

Periodically review the privileges and their owners.

Phase: Testing

Use automated tools to check for privilege settings.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class282Improper Ownership Management
Development Concepts (primary)699
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfCategoryCategory723OWASP Top Ten 2004 Category A2 - Broken Access Control
Weaknesses in OWASP Top Ten (2004) (primary)711
ChildOfCategoryCategory944SFP Secondary Cluster: Access Management
Software Fault Pattern (SFP) Clusters (primary)888
CanAlsoBeWeakness ClassWeakness Class345Insufficient Verification of Data Authenticity
Research Concepts1000
MemberOfViewView884CWE Cross-section
CWE Cross-section (primary)884
+ Maintenance Notes

This overlaps verification errors, permissions, and privileges.

A closely related weakness is the incorrect assignment of groups to a resource. It is not clear whether it would fall under this entry or require a different entry.

+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
2008-09-09MITREInternal CWE Team
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Description
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences, Maintenance_Notes, Other_Notes
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Observed_Examples, Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships

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Page Last Updated: May 05, 2017