Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software & Hardware Weakness Types

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CWE-837: Improper Enforcement of a Single, Unique Action

Weakness ID: 837
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software requires that an actor should only be able to perform an action once, or to have only one unique action, but the software does not enforce or improperly enforces this restriction.
+ Extended Description
In various applications, a user is only expected to perform a certain action once, such as voting, requesting a refund, or making a purchase. When this restriction is not enforced, sometimes this can have security implications. For example, in a voting application, an attacker could attempt to "stuff the ballot box" by voting multiple times. If these votes are counted separately, then the attacker could directly affect who wins the vote. This could have significant business impact depending on the purpose of the software.
+ 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.799Improper Control of Interaction Frequency
+ Relevant to the view "Software Development" (CWE-699)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.438Behavioral Problems
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.840Business Logic Errors
+ 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:

An attacker might be able to gain advantage over other users by performing the action multiple times, or affect the correctness of the software.
+ Observed Examples
Ticket-booking web application allows a user to lock a seat more than once.
CMS allows people to rate downloads by voting more than once.
Polling software allows people to vote more than once by setting a cookie.
Chain: lack of validation of a challenge key in a game allows a player to register multiple times and lock other players out of the game.
Library feature allows attackers to check out the same e-book multiple times, preventing other users from accessing copies of the e-book.
Protocol implementation allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (call-number exhaustion) by initiating many message exchanges.
+ Content History
+ Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2011-03-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
+ Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Observed_Examples
2020-02-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
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Page Last Updated: March 15, 2021