Improper Neutralization

The product does not ensure or incorrectly ensures that structured messages or data are well-formed and that certain security properties are met before being read from an upstream component or sent to a downstream component.


If a message is malformed, it may cause the message to be incorrectly interpreted.

Neutralization is an abstract term for any technique that ensures that input (and output) conforms with expectations and is "safe." This can be done by:

checking that the input/output is already "safe" (e.g. validation)

transformation of the input/output to be "safe" using techniques such as filtering, encoding/decoding, escaping/unescaping, quoting/unquoting, or canonicalization

preventing the input/output from being directly provided by an attacker (e.g. "indirect selection" that maps externally-provided values to internally-controlled values)

preventing the input/output from being processed at all

This weakness typically applies in cases where the product prepares a control message that another process must act on, such as a command or query, and malicious input that was intended as data, can enter the control plane instead. However, this weakness also applies to more general cases where there are not always control implications.

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Improper Neutralization

Weaknesses in this category are related to improper neutralization.

ICS Supply Chain: Common Mode Frailties

Weaknesses in this category are related to the "Common Mode Frailties" category from the SEI ETF "Categories of Security Vulnerabilities in ICS" as published in March ...

Verify Message Integrity

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, ...

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

Entries with Maintenance Notes

CWE entries in this view have maintenance notes. Maintenance notes are an indicator that an entry might change significantly in future versions. This view was created...

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...

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