Insufficient Psychological Acceptability

The software has a protection mechanism that is too difficult or inconvenient to use, encouraging non-malicious users to disable or bypass the mechanism, whether by accident or on purpose.


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

In "Usability of Security: A Case Study" [REF-540], the authors consider human factors in a cryptography product. Some of the weakness relevant discoveries of this case study were: users accidentally leaked sensitive information, could not figure out how to perform some tasks, thought they were enabling a security option when they were not, and made improper trust decisions.

Example Two

Enforcing complex and difficult-to-remember passwords that need to be frequently changed for access to trivial resources, e.g., to use a black-and-white printer. Complex password requirements can also cause users to store the passwords in an unsafe manner so they don't have to remember them, such as using a sticky note or saving them in an unencrypted file.

Example Three

Some CAPTCHA utilities produce images that are too difficult for a human to read, causing user frustration.

See Also

SFP Secondary Cluster: Feature

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

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

Weaknesses without Software Fault Patterns

CWE identifiers in this view are weaknesses that do not have associated Software Fault Patterns (SFPs), as covered by the CWE-888 view. As such, they represent gaps in...

Weaknesses Introduced During Implementation

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

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