Improper Interaction Between Multiple Correctly-Behaving Entities

An interaction error occurs when two entities have correct behavior when running independently of each other, but when they are integrated as components in a larger system or process, they introduce incorrect behaviors that may cause resultant weaknesses.


When a system or process combines multiple independent components, this often produces new, emergent behaviors at the system level. However, if the interactions between these components are not fully accounted for, some of the emergent behaviors can be incorrect or even insecure.


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 paper "Insertion, Evasion, and Denial of Service: Eluding Network Intrusion Detection" [REF-428] shows that OSes varied widely in how they manage unusual packets, which made it difficult or impossible for intrusion detection systems to properly detect certain attacker manipulations that took advantage of these OS differences.

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Component Interaction

Weaknesses in this category are related to component interaction.

SFP Secondary Cluster: Protocol Error

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Protocol Error cluster.

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

Research Concepts

This view is intended to facilitate research into weaknesses, including their inter-dependencies, and can be leveraged to systematically identify theoretical gaps with...

Weaknesses Introduced During Implementation

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

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