Race condition in switch

From OWASP
Revision as of 06:50, 3 June 2009 by MediaWiki spam cleanup (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search


This page was marked to be reviewed for deletion.


#REDIRECT Race Conditions



Last revision (mm/dd/yy): 06/3/2009


Description

If the variable which is switched on is changed while the switch statement is still in progress, undefined activity may occur.

Consequences

  • Undefined: This flaw will result in the system state going out of sync.

Exposure period

  • Implementation: Variable locking is the purview of implementers.

Platform

  • Languages: All that allow for multi-threaded activity
  • Operating platforms: All

Required resources

Any

Severity

Medium

Likelihood of exploit

Medium

This issue is particularly important in the case of switch statements that involve fall-through style case statements - i.e., those which do not end with break.

If the variable which we are switching on change in the course of execution, the actions carried out may place the state of the process in a contradictory state or even result in memory corruption.

For this reason, it is important to ensure that all variables involved in switch statements are locked before the statement starts and are unlocked when the statement ends.


Risk Factors

TBD

Examples

In C/C++:

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>

int main(argc,argv){
        struct stat *sb;
        time_t timer;

        lstat("bar.sh",sb);

        printf("%d\n",sb->st_ctime);
        switch(sb->st_ctime % 2){
                case 0: printf("One option\n");break;
                case 1: printf("another option\n");break;
                default: printf("huh\n");break;
        }

        return 0;
}


Related Attacks


Related Vulnerabilities

Related Controls

  • Implementation: Variables that may be subject to race conditions should be locked for the duration of any switch statements.


Related Technical Impacts


References

TBD