Improper Access Control

The product does not restrict or incorrectly restricts access to a resource from an unauthorized actor.


Access control involves the use of several protection mechanisms such as:

Authentication (proving the identity of an actor)

Authorization (ensuring that a given actor can access a resource), and

Accountability (tracking of activities that were performed)

When any mechanism is not applied or otherwise fails, attackers can compromise the security of the product by gaining privileges, reading sensitive information, executing commands, evading detection, etc.

There are two distinct behaviors that can introduce access control weaknesses:

Specification: incorrect privileges, permissions, ownership, etc. are explicitly specified for either the user or the resource (for example, setting a password file to be world-writable, or giving administrator capabilities to a guest user). This action could be performed by the program or the administrator.

Enforcement: the mechanism contains errors that prevent it from properly enforcing the specified access control requirements (e.g., allowing the user to specify their own privileges, or allowing a syntactically-incorrect ACL to produce insecure settings). This problem occurs within the program itself, in that it does not actually enforce the intended security policy that the administrator specifies.

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Access Control

Weaknesses in this category are related to access control.

ICS Supply Chain: OT Counterfeit and Malicious Corruption

Weaknesses in this category are related to the "OT Counterfeit and Malicious Corruption" category from the SEI ETF "Categories of Security Vulnerabilities in ICS" as p...

ICS Supply Chain: IT/OT Convergence/Expansion

Weaknesses in this category are related to the "IT/OT Convergence/Expansion" category from the SEI ETF "Categories of Security Vulnerabilities in ICS" as published in ...

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

CISQ Data Protection Measures

This view outlines the SMM representation of the Automated Source Code Data Protection Measurement specifications, as identified by the Consortium for Information & So...

Entries with Maintenance Notes

CWE entries in this view have maintenance notes. Maintenance notes are an indicator that an entry might change significantly in future versions. This view was created...

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