Unverified Ownership

The product does not properly verify that a critical resource is owned by the proper entity.


The following examples help to illustrate the nature of this weakness and describe methods or techniques which can be used to mitigate the risk.

Note that the examples here are by no means exhaustive and any given weakness may have many subtle varieties, each of which may require different detection methods or runtime controls.

Example One

This function is part of a privileged program that takes input from users with potentially lower privileges.

def killProcess(processID):
  os.kill(processID, signal.SIGKILL)

This code does not confirm that the process to be killed is owned by the requesting user, thus allowing an attacker to kill arbitrary processes.

This function remedies the problem by checking the owner of the process before killing it:

def killProcess(processID):

  user = getCurrentUser()

  #Check process owner against requesting user
  if getProcessOwner(processID) == user:
    os.kill(processID, signal.SIGKILL)

    print("You cannot kill a process you don't own")

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Access Control

Weaknesses in this category are related to access control.

Authorize Actors

Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of a system's authorization components. Frequently these deal with enforcing that agents have th...

SFP Secondary Cluster: Access Management

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Access Management cluster.

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

CWE Cross-section

This view contains a selection of weaknesses that represent the variety of weaknesses that are captured in CWE, at a level of abstraction that is likely to be useful t...

Weaknesses Introduced During Design

This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during design.

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