Incorrect Privilege Assignment
Weakness ID: 266 (Weakness Base)Status: Draft
+ Description

Description Summary

A product incorrectly assigns a privilege to a particular actor, creating an unintended sphere of control for that actor.
+ Time of Introduction
  • Architecture and Design
  • Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms



+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

Evidence of privilege change:

(Bad Code)
Example Language:
/* do some stuff */
(Bad Code)
Example Language: Java 
AccessController.doPrivileged(new PrivilegedAction() {
public Object run() {
// privileged code goes here, for example:
return null;
// nothing to return
+ Observed Examples
CVE-1999-1193untrusted user placed in unix "wheel" group
CVE-2005-2741Product allows users to grant themselves certain rights that can be used to escalate privileges.
CVE-2005-2496Product uses group ID of a user instead of the group, causing it to run with different privileges. This is resultant from some other unknown issue.
CVE-2004-0274Product mistakenly assigns a particular status to an entity, leading to increased privileges.
+ Potential Mitigations

Very carefully manage the setting, management and handling of privileges. Explicitly manage trust zones in the software.

Follow the principle of least privilege when assigning access rights to entities in a software system.

+ Weakness Ordinalities
(where the weakness is typically related to the presence of some other weaknesses)
+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfCategoryCategory265Privilege / Sandbox Issues
Development Concepts (primary)699
ChildOfWeakness BaseWeakness Base269Improper Privilege Management
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfCategoryCategory634Weaknesses that Affect System Processes
Resource-specific Weaknesses (primary)631
ChildOfCategoryCategory723OWASP Top Ten 2004 Category A2 - Broken Access Control
Weaknesses in OWASP Top Ten (2004) (primary)711
CanAlsoBeWeakness ClassWeakness Class286Incorrect User Management
Research Concepts1000
ParentOfWeakness VariantWeakness Variant9J2EE Misconfiguration: Weak Access Permissions for EJB Methods
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ParentOfWeakness VariantWeakness Variant520.NET Misconfiguration: Use of Impersonation
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ParentOfWeakness VariantWeakness Variant556ASP.NET Misconfiguration: Use of Identity Impersonation
Research Concepts (primary)1000
+ Affected Resources
  • System Process
+ Causal Nature


+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
PLOVERIncorrect Privilege Assignment
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
PLOVERExternally Mined
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Time of Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Description, Relationships, Taxonomy Mappings, Weakness Ordinalities
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
2009-12-28CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Potential Mitigations