Reliance on Cookies without Validation and Integrity Checking
The application relies on the existence or values of cookies when performing security-critical operations, but it does not properly ensure that the setting is valid for the associated user.
Attackers can easily modify cookies, within the browser or by implementing the client-side code outside of the browser. Reliance on cookies without detailed validation and integrity checking can allow attackers to bypass authentication, conduct injection attacks such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting, or otherwise modify inputs in unexpected ways.
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.
The following code excerpt reads a value from a browser cookie to determine the role of the user.
It is easy for an attacker to modify the "role" value found in the locally stored cookie, allowing privilege escalation.
Weaknesses in this category are related to the A08 category "Software and Data Integrity Failures" in the OWASP Top Ten 2021.
Weaknesses in this category are related to a software system's data integrity components. Frequently these deal with the ability to ensure the integrity of data, such ...
Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of a system's data integrity components. Frequently these deal with ensuring integrity of data, ...
This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.
This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during implementation.
This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during design.