Cleartext Storage of Sensitive Information in Memory

The product stores sensitive information in cleartext in memory.


The sensitive memory might be saved to disk, stored in a core dump, or remain uncleared if the product crashes, or if the programmer does not properly clear the memory before freeing it.

It could be argued that such problems are usually only exploitable by those with administrator privileges. However, swapping could cause the memory to be written to disk and leave it accessible to physical attack afterwards. Core dump files might have insecure permissions or be stored in archive files that are accessible to untrusted people. Or, uncleared sensitive memory might be inadvertently exposed to attackers due to another weakness.

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Encryption

Weaknesses in this category are related to encryption.

OWASP Top Ten 2021 Category A04:2021 - Insecure Design

Weaknesses in this category are related to the A04 "Insecure Design" category in the OWASP Top Ten 2021.

Encrypt Data

Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of data confidentiality in a system. Frequently these deal with the use of encryption libraries....

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

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