Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

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CWE-779: Logging of Excessive Data

Weakness ID: 779
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software logs too much information, making log files hard to process and possibly hindering recovery efforts or forensic analysis after an attack.
+ Extended Description
While logging is a good practice in general, and very high levels of logging are appropriate for debugging stages of development, too much logging in a production environment might hinder a system administrator's ability to detect anomalous conditions. This can provide cover for an attacker while attempting to penetrate a system, clutter the audit trail for forensic analysis, or make it more difficult to debug problems in a production environment.
+ Relationships

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)
ChildOfClassClass - 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.400Uncontrolled Resource Consumption
+ Relevant to the view "Software Development" (CWE-699)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1210Audit / Logging Errors
+ Relevant to the view "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.1009Audit
+ Modes Of Introduction

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.

OperationREALIZATION: This weakness is caused during implementation of an architectural security tactic.
+ Applicable Platforms
The listings below show possible areas for which the given weakness could appear. These may be for specific named Languages, Operating Systems, Architectures, Paradigms, Technologies, or a class of such platforms. The platform is listed along with how frequently the given weakness appears for that instance.


Class: Language-Independent (Undetermined Prevalence)

+ Common Consequences

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.


Technical Impact: DoS: Resource Consumption (CPU); DoS: Resource Consumption (Other)

Log files can become so large that they consume excessive resources, such as disk and CPU, which can hinder the performance of the system.

Technical Impact: Hide Activities

Logging too much information can make the log files of less use to forensics analysts and developers when trying to diagnose a problem or recover from an attack.

Technical Impact: Hide Activities

If system administrators are unable to effectively process log files, attempted attacks may go undetected, possibly leading to eventual system compromise.
+ Likelihood Of Exploit
+ Observed Examples
server records a large amount of data to the server log when it receives malformed headers
chain: application does not restrict access to front-end for updates, which allows attacker to fill the error log
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Suppress large numbers of duplicate log messages and replace them with periodic summaries. For example, syslog may include an entry that states "last message repeated X times" when recording repeated events.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Support a maximum size for the log file that can be controlled by the administrator. If the maximum size is reached, the admin should be notified. Also, consider reducing functionality of the software. This may result in a denial-of-service to legitimate software users, but it will prevent the software from adversely impacting the entire system.

Phase: Implementation

Adjust configurations appropriately when software is transitioned from a debug state to production.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2009-07-02CWE Content TeamMITRE
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Likelihood_of_Exploit, Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
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Page Last Updated: March 15, 2021