Insufficient Technical Documentation

The product does not contain sufficient technical or engineering documentation (whether on paper or in electronic form) that contains descriptions of all the relevant software/hardware elements of the product, such as its usage, structure, architectural components, interfaces, design, implementation, configuration, operation, etc.


When technical documentation is limited or lacking, products are more difficult to maintain. This indirectly affects security by making it more difficult or time-consuming to find and/or fix vulnerabilities.

When using time-limited or labor-limited third-party/in-house security consulting services (such as threat modeling, vulnerability discovery, or pentesting), insufficient documentation can force those consultants to invest unnecessary time in learning how the product is organized, instead of focusing their expertise on finding the flaws or suggesting effective mitigations.

With respect to hardware design, the lack of a formal, final manufacturer reference can make it difficult or impossible to evaluate the final product, including post-manufacture verification. One cannot ensure that design functionality or operation is within acceptable tolerances, conforms to specifications, and is free from unexpected behavior. Hardware-related documentation may include engineering artifacts such as hardware description language (HDLs), netlists, Gerber files, Bills of Materials, EDA (Electronic Design Automation) tool files, etc.

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Poor Coding Practices

Weaknesses in this category are related to poor coding practices.

ICS Engineering (Construction/Deployment): Gaps in Details/Data

Weaknesses in this category are related to the "Gaps in Details/Data" category from the SEI ETF "Categories of Security Vulnerabilities in ICS" as published in March 2...

ICS Supply Chain: Poorly Documented or Undocumented Features

Weaknesses in this category are related to the "Poorly Documented or Undocumented Features" category from the SEI ETF "Categories of Security Vulnerabilities in ICS" a...

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.

Weaknesses Addressed by ISA/IEC 62443 Requirements

This view (slice) covers weaknesses that are addressed by following requirements in the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards for industrial automation and control systems...

Quality Weaknesses with Indirect Security Impacts

CWE identifiers in this view (slice) are quality issues that only indirectly make it easier to introduce a vulnerability and/or make the vulnerability more difficult t...

Common Weakness Enumeration content on this website is copyright of The MITRE Corporation unless otherwise specified. Use of the Common Weakness Enumeration and the associated references on this website are subject to the Terms of Use as specified by The MITRE Corporation.