CWE-775: Missing Release of File Descriptor or Handle after Effective Lifetime
Weakness ID: 775
Abstraction: Variant Structure: Simple
The software does not release a file descriptor or handle after its effective lifetime has ended, i.e., after the file descriptor/handle is no longer needed.
When a file descriptor or handle is not released after use (typically by explicitly closing it), attackers can cause a denial of service by consuming all available file descriptors/handles, or otherwise preventing other system processes from obtaining their own file descriptors/handles.
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)
Base - 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.
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 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.
An attacker that can influence the allocation of resources that are not properly released could deplete the available resource pool and prevent all other processes from accessing the same type of resource.
Chain: anti-virus product encounters a malformed file but returns from a function without closing a file descriptor (CWE-775) leading to file descriptor consumption (CWE-400) and failed scans.
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).
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.
Category - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.