CodeQL documentation

User-controlled data in arithmetic expression

ID: java/tainted-arithmetic
Kind: path-problem
Severity: warning
Precision: medium
Tags:
   - security
   - external/cwe/cwe-190
   - external/cwe/cwe-191
Query suites:
   - java-security-extended.qls
   - java-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

Performing calculations on user-controlled data can result in integer overflows unless the input is validated.

If the user is free to enter very large numbers, even arithmetic operations that would usually result in a small change in magnitude may result in overflows.

Recommendation

Always guard against overflow in arithmetic operations on user-controlled data by doing one of the following:

  • Validate the user input.
  • Define a guard on the arithmetic expression, so that the operation is performed only if the result can be known to be less than, or equal to, the maximum value for the type, for example MAX_VALUE.
  • Use a wider type, so that larger input values do not cause overflow.

Example

In this example, a value is read from standard input into an int. Because the value is a user-controlled value, it could be extremely large. Performing arithmetic operations on this value could therefore cause an overflow. To avoid this happening, the example shows how to perform a check before performing a multiplication.

class Test {
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		{
			int data;

			BufferedReader readerBuffered = new BufferedReader(
					new InputStreamReader(System.in, "UTF-8"));
			String stringNumber = readerBuffered.readLine();
			if (stringNumber != null) {
				data = Integer.parseInt(stringNumber.trim());
			} else {
				data = 0;
			}

			// BAD: may overflow if input data is very large, for example
			// 'Integer.MAX_VALUE'
			int scaled = data * 10;

			//...
			
			// GOOD: use a guard to ensure no overflows occur
			int scaled2;
			if (data < Integer.MAX_VALUE / 10)
				scaled2 = data * 10;
			else
				scaled2 = Integer.MAX_VALUE;
		}
	}
}

References