Missing Check for Certificate Revocation after Initial Check

The product does not check the revocation status of a certificate after its initial revocation check, which can cause the product to perform privileged actions even after the certificate is revoked at a later time.


If the revocation status of a certificate is not checked before each action that requires privileges, the system may be subject to a race condition. If a certificate is revoked after the initial check, all subsequent actions taken with the owner of the revoked certificate will lose all benefits guaranteed by the certificate. In fact, it is almost certain that the use of a revoked certificate indicates malicious activity.


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

The following code checks a certificate before performing an action.

if (cert = SSL_get_peer_certificate(ssl)) {

  if (X509_V_OK==foo)

    //do stuff
    //do more stuff without the check.

While the code performs the certificate verification before each action, it does not check the result of the verification after the initial attempt. The certificate may have been revoked in the time between the privileged actions.

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Access Control

Weaknesses in this category are related to access control.

Identify Actors

Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of a system's identification management components. Frequently these deal with verifying that ex...

SFP Secondary Cluster: Race Condition Window

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Race Condition Window cluster (SFP20).

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

Weaknesses Introduced During Implementation

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

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