Failure to Sanitize Paired Delimiters
Weakness ID: 157 (Weakness Variant)Status: Draft
+ Description

Description Summary

The software does not properly handle the characters that are used to mark the beginning and ending of a group of entities, such as parentheses, brackets, and braces.
+ Time of Introduction
  • Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms



+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

Paired delimiters might include:

< and > angle brackets

( and ) parentheses

{ and } braces

[ and ] square brackets

" " double quotes

' ' single quotes

+ Observed Examples
CVE-2004-0956Crash via missing paired delimiter (open double-quote but no closing double-quote).
CVE-2000-1165Crash via message without closing ">".
CVE-2005-2933Buffer overflow via mailbox name with an opening double quote but missing a closing double quote, causing a larger copy than expected.
+ Potential Mitigations

Developers should anticipate that grouping elements will be injected/removed/manipulated in the input vectors of their software system. Use an appropriate combination of black lists and white lists to ensure only valid, expected and appropriate input is processed by the system.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Assume all input is malicious. Use a standard input validation mechanism to validate all input for length, type, syntax, and business rules before accepting the data to be displayed or stored. Use an "accept known good" validation strategy.

Use and specify a strong output encoding (such as ISO 8859-1 or UTF 8).

Do not rely exclusively on blacklist validation to detect malicious input or to encode output. There are too many variants to encode a character; you're likely to miss some variants.

Inputs should be decoded and canonicalized to the application's current internal representation before being validated. Make sure that your application does not decode the same input twice. Such errors could be used to bypass whitelist schemes by introducing dangerous inputs after they have been checked.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class138Improper Sanitization of Special Elements
Development Concepts (primary)699
Research Concepts (primary)1000
+ Research Gaps


+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERGrouping Element / Paired Delimiter
+ Related Attack Patterns
CAPEC-IDAttack Pattern Name
(CAPEC Version: 1.4)
15Command Delimiters
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
PLOVERExternally Mined
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Potential Mitigations, Time of Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships, Taxonomy Mappings
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Potential Mitigations
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Grouping Element / Paired Delimiter