CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Weaknesses
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ID

CWE-773: Missing Reference to Active File Descriptor or Handle

Weakness ID: 773
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software does not properly maintain references to a file descriptor or handle, which prevents that file descriptor/handle from being reclaimed.
+ Extended Description
This can cause the software to consume all available file descriptors or handles, which can prevent other processes from performing critical file processing operations.
+ 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
ChildOfBaseBase - 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.771Missing Reference to Active Allocated Resource
+ 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
Availability

Technical Impact: DoS: Resource Consumption (Other)

An attacker that can influence the allocation of resources that are not properly maintained could deplete the available resource pool and prevent all other processes from accessing the same type of resource.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phases: Operation; Architecture and Design

Strategy: Resource Limitation

Use resource-limiting settings provided by the operating system or environment. For example, when managing system resources in POSIX, setrlimit() can be used to set limits for certain types of resources, and getrlimit() can determine how many resources are available. However, these functions are not available on all operating systems.

When the current levels get close to the maximum that is defined for the application (see CWE-770), then limit the allocation of further resources to privileged users; alternately, begin releasing resources for less-privileged users. While this mitigation may protect the system from attack, it will not necessarily stop attackers from adversely impacting other users.

Ensure that the application performs the appropriate error checks and error handling in case resources become unavailable (CWE-703).

+ 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.1163SEI CERT C Coding Standard - Guidelines 09. Input Output (FIO)
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CERT C Secure CodingFIO42-CCWE More AbstractClose files when they are no longer needed
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2009-05-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2010-04-05CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Likelihood_of_Exploit, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2019-01-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Theoretical_Notes
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
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Page Last Updated: July 20, 2021