Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

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CWE-921: Storage of Sensitive Data in a Mechanism without Access Control

Weakness ID: 921
Abstraction: Base
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

Description Summary

The software stores sensitive information in a file system or device that does not have built-in access control.

Extended Description

While many modern file systems or devices utilize some form of access control in order to restrict access to data, not all storage mechanisms have this capability. For example, memory cards, floppy disks, CDs, and USB devices are typically made accessible to any user within the system. This can become a problem when sensitive data is stored in these mechanisms in a multi-user environment, because anybody on the system can read or write this data.

On Android devices, external storage is typically globally readable and writable by other applications on the device. External storage may also be easily accessible through the mobile device's USB connection or physically accessible through the device's memory card port.

+ Time of Introduction
  • Architecture and Design
+ Applicable Platforms



Architectural Paradigms

Mobile Application

+ Common Consequences

Technical Impact: Read application data; Read files or directories

Attackers can read sensitive information by accessing the unrestricted storage mechanism.


Technical Impact: Modify application data; Modify files or directories

Attackers can modify or delete sensitive information by accessing the unrestricted storage mechanism.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class922Insecure Storage of Sensitive Information
Development Concepts (primary)699
Research Concepts (primary)1000
+ References
Android Open Source Project. "Security Tips". 2013-07-16. <>.
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
2013-06-22MITREInternal CWE Team

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Page Last Updated: May 05, 2017