Difference between revisions of "Failure to encrypt data"

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==Categories ==

Revision as of 21:57, 27 May 2006


The failure to encrypt data passes up the guarantees of confidentiality, integrity, and accountability that properly implemented encryption conveys.


  • Confidentiality: Properly encrypted data channels ensure data confidentiality.
  • Integrity: Properly encrypted data channels ensure data integrity.
  • Accountability: Properly encrypted data channels ensure accountability.

Exposure period

  • Requirements specification: Encryption should be a requirement of systems that transmit data.
  • Design: Encryption should be designed into the system at the architectural and design phases


  • Languages: Any
  • Operating platform: Any

Required resources




Likelihood of exploit

Very High

Avoidance and mitigation

  • Requirements specification: require that encryption be integrated into the system.
  • Design: Ensure that encryption is properly integrated into the system design, not simply as a drop-in replacement for sockets.


Omitting the use of encryption in any program which transfers data over a network of any kind should be considered on par with delivering the data sent to each user on the local networks of both the sender and receiver.

Worse, this omission allows for the injection of data into a stream of communication between two parties - with no means for the victims to separate valid data from invalid.

In this day of widespread network attacks and password collection sniffers, it is an unnecessary risk to omit encryption from the design of any system which might benefit from it.


In C:

server.sin_family = AF_INET;
hp = gethostbyname(argv[1]);
if (hp==NULL) error("Unknown host");
memcpy( (char *)&server.sin_addr,(char *)hp->h_addr,hp->h_length);
if (argc < 3) port = 80;
else port = (unsigned short)atoi(argv[3]);
server.sin_port = htons(port); 
	if (connect(sock, (struct sockaddr *)&server, sizeof server) < 0)

  while ((n=read(sock,buffer,BUFSIZE-1))!=-1){

In Java:

try {
  URL u = new URL("http://www.importantsecretsite.org/");
  HttpURLConnection hu = (HttpURLConnection) u.openConnection();
  OutputStream os = hu.getOutputStream();
catch (IOException e) { //...

Related problems

Not available.