Logging of Excessive Data
Weakness ID: 779 (Weakness Base)Status: Draft
+ Description

Description Summary

The software logs too much information, making log files hard to process and possibly hindering recovery efforts or forensic analysis after an attack.

Extended Description

While logging is a good practice in general, and very high levels of logging are appropriate for debugging stages of development, too much logging in a production environment might hinder a system administrator's ability to detect anomalous conditions. This can provide cover for an attacker while attempting to penetrate a system, clutter the audit trail for forensic analysis, or make it more difficult to debug problems in a production environment.

+ Time of Introduction
  • Operation
+ Applicable Platforms



+ Common Consequences

Log files can become so large that they consume excessive resources, such as disk and CPU, which can hinder the performance of the system.


Logging too much information can make the log files of less use to forensics analysts and developers when trying to diagnose a problem or recover from an attack.


If system administrators are unable to effectively process log files, attempted attacks may go undetected, possibly leading to eventual system compromise.

+ Likelihood of Exploit

Low to Medium

+ Observed Examples
CVE-2007-0421server records a large amount of data to the server log when it receives malformed headers
CVE-2002-1154chain: application does not restrict access to front-end for updates, which allows attacker to fill the error log
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Suppress large numbers of duplicate log messages and replace them with periodic summaries. For example, syslog may include an entry that states "last message repeated X times" when recording repeated events.

Phase: Architecture and Design

Support a maximum size for the log file that can be controlled by the administrator. If the maximum size is reached, the admin should be notified. Also, consider reducing functionality of the software. This may result in a denial-of-service to legitimate software users, but it will prevent the software from adversely impacting the entire system.

Phase: Implementation

Adjust configurations appropriately when software is transitioned from a debug state to production.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfCategoryCategory199Information Management Errors
Development Concepts699
ChildOfCategoryCategory254Security Features
Development Concepts699
ChildOfWeakness BaseWeakness Base400Uncontrolled Resource Consumption ('Resource Exhaustion')
Development Concepts (primary)699
Research Concepts (primary)1000
+ Content History
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
2009-07-02MITREInternal CWE Team