Improper Cleanup on Thrown Exception
Weakness ID: 460 (Weakness Variant)Status: Draft
+ Description

Description Summary

The product does not clean up its state or incorrectly cleans up its state when an exception is thrown, leading to unexpected state or control flow.
+ Time of Introduction
  • Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms






+ Common Consequences

The code could be left in a bad state.

+ Likelihood of Exploit


+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

(Bad Code)
Example Languages: C++ and Java 
public class foo {
public static final void main( String args[] ) {

boolean returnValue;
public static final boolean doStuff( ) {

boolean threadLock;
boolean truthvalue=true;
try {

//check some condition
) {

threadLock=true; //do some stuff to truthvalue
catch (Exception e){

System.err.println("You did something bad");
if (something) return truthvalue;
return truthvalue;

In this case, you may leave a thread locked accidentally.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

If one breaks from a loop or function by throwing an exception, make sure that cleanup happens or that you should exit the program. Use throwing exceptions sparsely.

+ Other Notes

Often, when functions or loops become complicated, some level of cleanup in the beginning to the end is needed. Often, since exceptions can disturb the flow of the code, one can leave a code block in a bad state.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfCategoryCategory452Initialization and Cleanup Errors
Development Concepts (primary)699
ChildOfWeakness BaseWeakness Base459Incomplete Cleanup
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class755Improper Handling of Exceptional Conditions
Research Concepts1000
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
CLASPImproper cleanup on thrown exception
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
CLASPExternally Mined
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Time of Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Applicable Platforms, Common Consequences, Relationships, Other Notes, Taxonomy Mappings
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Description