Struts: Validator Turned Off
Weakness ID: 109 (Weakness Variant)Status: Draft
+ Description

Description Summary

Automatic filtering via a Struts bean has been turned off, which disables the Struts Validator and custom validation logic. This exposes the application to other weaknesses related to insufficient input validation.
+ Time of Introduction
  • Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms



+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

An action form mapping that disables validation.

(Bad Code)
Example Language: XML 
<action path="/download"

Disabling validation exposes this action to numerous types of attacks. Unchecked input is the root cause of vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting, process control, and SQL injection. 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.

+ Potential Mitigations

Ensure that an action form mapping enables validation. In the included demonstrative example, the validate field should be set to true.

+ Other Notes

The Action Form mapping in the demonstrative example disables the form's validate() method. The Struts bean: write tag automatically filters special HTML characters, replacing a < with &lt and a > with &gt. This action can be disabled by specifying filter="false" as an attribute of the tag to disable specified JSP pages. However, being disabled makes these pages susceptible to cross-site scripting attacks. An attacker may be able to insert malicious scripts as user input to write to these JSP pages.

+ 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 Class693Protection Mechanism Failure
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfCategoryCategory722OWASP Top Ten 2004 Category A1 - Unvalidated Input
Weaknesses in OWASP Top Ten (2004) (primary)711
+ Causal Nature


+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsStruts: Validator Turned Off
+ 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
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Demonstrative Examples