Struts: Validator Without Form Field
Weakness ID: 110 (Weakness Variant)Status: Draft
+ Description

Description Summary

Validation fields that do not appear in forms they are associated with indicate that the validation logic is out of date.

Extended Description

It is easy for developers to forget to update validation logic when they make changes to an ActionForm class. One indication that validation logic is not being properly maintained is inconsistencies between the action form and the validation form.

+ Time of Introduction
  • Implementation
  • Operation
+ Applicable Platforms



+ Common Consequences

It is critically important that validation logic be maintained and kept in sync with the rest of the application. Unchecked input is the root cause of some of today's worst and most common software security problems. Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and process control vulnerabilities all stem from incomplete or absent input validation.

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

An action form with two fields.

(Bad Code)
Example Language: Java 
public class DateRangeForm extends ValidatorForm {
String startDate, endDate;

public void setStartDate(String startDate) {
this.startDate = startDate;

public void setEndDate(String endDate) {
this.endDate = endDate;

This example shows an action form that has two fields, startDate and endDate.

Example 2

A validation form with a third field.

(Bad Code)
Example Language: XML 
<form name="DateRangeForm">
<field property="startDate" depends="date">
<arg0 key=""/>
<field property="endDate" depends="date">
<arg0 key=""/>
<field property="scale" depends="integer">
<arg0 key="range.scale"/>

This example lists a validation form for the action form. The validation form lists a third field: scale. The presence of the third field suggests that DateRangeForm was modified without taking validation into account.

+ Potential Mitigations

To find the issue in the implementation, manual checks or automated static analysis could be applied to the xml configuration files.

+ Other Notes

Although J2EE applications are not generally susceptible to memory corruption attacks, if a J2EE application interfaces with native code that does not perform array bounds checking, an attacker may be able to use an input validation mistake in the J2EE application to launch a buffer overflow attack.

+ Weakness Ordinalities
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class20Improper Input Validation
Seven Pernicious Kingdoms (primary)700
ChildOfCategoryCategory101Struts Validation Problems
Development Concepts (primary)699
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class398Indicator of Poor Code Quality
Research Concepts (primary)1000
+ Causal Nature


+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsStruts: Validator Without Form Field
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
7 Pernicious KingdomsExternally Mined
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Potential Mitigations, Time of Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships, Other Notes, Taxonomy Mappings, Weakness Ordinalities
2008-11-24CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common Consequences, Description, Other Notes
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Demonstrative Examples