Attempt to Access Child of a Non-structure Pointer
Weakness ID: 588 (Weakness Variant)Status: Incomplete
+ Description

Description Summary

Casting a non-structure type to a structure type and accessing a field can lead to memory access errors or data corruption.
+ Time of Introduction
  • Architecture and Design
  • Implementation
+ Common Consequences

Adjacent variables in memory may be corrupted by assignments performed on fields after the cast.


Execution may end due to a memory access error.

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

(Bad Code)
Example Language:
struct foo
int i;
int main(int argc, char **argv)
*foo = (struct foo *)main;
foo->i = 2;
return foo->i;
+ Potential Mitigations

Requirements specification: The choice could be made to use a language that is not susceptible to these issues.

Phase: Implementation

Review of type casting operations can identify locations where incompatible types are cast.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfCategoryCategory465Pointer Issues
Development Concepts (primary)699
ChildOfCategoryCategory569Expression Issues
Development Concepts699
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class704Incorrect Type Conversion or Cast
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfWeakness ClassWeakness Class758Reliance on Undefined, Unspecified, or Implementation-Defined Behavior
Research Concepts1000
+ Content History
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated Time of Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships, Other Notes
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common Consequences, Other Notes