Regular Expression without Anchors
The product uses a regular expression to perform neutralization, but the regular expression is not anchored and may allow malicious or malformed data to slip through.
When performing tasks such as validating against a set of allowed inputs (allowlist), data is examined and possibly modified to ensure that it is well-formed and adheres to a list of safe values. If the regular expression is not anchored, malicious or malformed data may be included before or after any string matching the regular expression. The type of malicious data that is allowed will depend on the context of the application and which anchors are omitted from the regular expression.
Regular expressions are typically used to match a pattern of text. Anchors are used in regular expressions to specify where the pattern should match: at the beginning, the end, or both (the whole input).
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.
Consider a web application that supports multiple languages. It selects messages for an appropriate language by using the lang parameter.
The previous code attempts to match only alphanumeric values so that language values such as "english" and "french" are valid while also protecting against path traversal, CWE-22. However, the regular expression anchors are omitted, so any text containing at least one alphanumeric character will now pass the validation step. For example, the attack string below will match the regular expression.
If the attacker can inject code sequences into a file, such as the web server's HTTP request log, then the attacker may be able to redirect the lang parameter to the log file and execute arbitrary code.
This code uses a regular expression to validate an IP string prior to using it in a call to the "ping" command.
Since the regular expression does not have anchors (CWE-777), i.e. is unbounded without ^ or $ characters, then prepending a 0 or 0x to the beginning of the IP address will still result in a matched regex pattern. Since the ping command supports octal and hex prepended IP addresses, it will use the unexpectedly valid IP address (CWE-1389). For example, "0x188.8.131.52" would be considered equivalent to "184.108.40.206". As a result, the attacker could potentially ping systems that the attacker cannot reach directly.
This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.
This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during implementation.