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Function Call with Incorrectly Specified Arguments

ID: 628Date: (C)2012-05-14   (M)2012-11-08
Type: weaknessStatus: DRAFT
Abstraction Type: Base


The product calls a function, procedure, or routine with arguments that are not correctly specified, leading to always-incorrect behavior and resultant weaknesses.

Extended Description

There are multiple ways in which this weakness can be introduced, including:

the wrong variable or reference;

an incorrect number of arguments;

incorrect order of arguments;

wrong type of arguments; or

wrong value.

Applicable Platforms
Language Class: All

Time Of Introduction

  • Implementation

Common Consequences

ScopeTechnical ImpactNotes
Quality degradation
Gain privileges / assume identity
This weakness can cause unintended behavior and can lead to additional weaknesses such as allowing an attacker to gain unintended access to system resources.

Detection Methods

Since these bugs typically introduce obviously incorrect behavior, they are found quickly, unless they occur in rarely-tested code paths. Managing the correct number of arguments can be made more difficult in cases where format strings are used, or when variable numbers of arguments are supported.

Potential Mitigations

Build and Compilation
 Once found, these issues are easy to fix. Use code inspection tools and relevant compiler features to identify potential violations. Pay special attention to code that is not likely to be exercised heavily during QA.
Architecture and Design
 Make sure your API's are stable before you use them in production code.


Related CWETypeViewChain
CWE-628 ChildOf CWE-885 Category CWE-888  

Demonstrative Examples   (Details)

  1. In the following Java snippet, the accessGranted() method is accidentally called with the static ADMIN_ROLES array rather than the user roles. (Demonstrative Example Id DX-64)
  2. The following PHP method authenticates a user given a username/password combination but is called with the parameters in reverse order. (Demonstrative Example Id DX-62)
  3. This Perl code intends to record whether a user authenticated successfully or not, and to exit if the user fails to authenticate. However, when it calls ReportAuth(), the third argument is specified as 0 instead of 1, so it does not exit. (Demonstrative Example Id DX-63)

Observed Examples

  1. CVE-2006-7049 : The method calls the functions with the wrong argument order, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions.

For more examples, refer to CVE relations in the bottom box.

White Box Definitions

Black Box Definitions

Taxynomy Mappings

CERT C Secure Coding DCL10-C
Maintain the contract between the writer and caller of variadic functions
CERT C Secure Coding EXP37-C
Call functions with the arguments intended by the API
CERT C Secure Coding MEM08-C
Use realloc() only to resize dynamically allocated arrays


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