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CWE
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Missing Release of File Descriptor or Handle after Effective Lifetime

ID: 775Date: (C)2012-05-14   (M)2016-12-27
Type: weaknessStatus: INCOMPLETE
Abstraction Type: Variant





Description

The software does not release a file descriptor or handle after its effective lifetime has ended, i.e., after the file descriptor/handle is no longer needed.

Extended Description

When a file descriptor or handle is not released after use (typically by explicitly closing it), attackers can cause a denial of service by consuming all available file descriptors/handles, or otherwise preventing other system processes from obtaining their own file descriptors/handles.

Likelihood of Exploit: Medium to High

Applicable Platforms
None

Time Of Introduction

  • Implementation

Common Consequences

ScopeTechnical ImpactNotes
Availability
 
DoS: resource consumption (other)
 
When allocating resources without limits, an attacker could prevent all other processes from accessing the same type of resource.
 

Detection Methods
None

Potential Mitigations

PhaseStrategyDescriptionEffectivenessNotes
Operation
Architecture and Design
 
Limit Resource Consumption
 
Use resource-limiting settings provided by the operating system or environment. For example, when managing system resources in POSIX, setrlimit() can be used to set limits for certain types of resources, and getrlimit() can determine how many resources are available. However, these functions are not available on all operating systems.
When the current levels get close to the maximum that is defined for the application (see CWE-770), then limit the allocation of further resources to privileged users; alternately, begin releasing resources for less-privileged users. While this mitigation may protect the system from attack, it will not necessarily stop attackers from adversely impacting other users.
Ensure that the application performs the appropriate error checks and error handling in case resources become unavailable (CWE-703).
 
  

Relationships

Related CWETypeViewChain
CWE-775 ChildOf CWE-892 Category CWE-888  

Demonstrative Examples
None

Observed Examples

  1. CVE-2007-0897 : Chain: anti-virus product encounters a malformed file but returns from a function without closing a file descriptor (CWE-775) leading to file descriptor consumption (CWE-400) and failed scans.

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

White Box Definitions
None

Black Box Definitions
None

Taxynomy Mappings
None

References:

  1. Mark Dowd John McDonald Justin Schuh .The Art of Software Security Assessment 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. Section:'Chapter 10, "File Descriptor Leaks", Page 582.'. Published on 2006.

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