CodeQL documentation

User-controlled data in numeric cast

ID: java/tainted-numeric-cast
Kind: path-problem
Severity: error
Precision: high
   - security
   - external/cwe/cwe-197
   - external/cwe/cwe-681
Query suites:
   - java-code-scanning.qls
   - java-security-extended.qls
   - java-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

Casting a user-controlled numeric value to a narrower type can result in truncated values unless the input is validated.

Narrowing conversions may cause potentially unintended results. For example, casting the positive integer value 128 to type byte yields the negative value -128.


Guard against unexpected truncation of user-controlled arithmetic data by doing one of the following:

  • Validate the user input.

  • Define a guard on the cast expression, so that the cast is performed only if the input is known to be within the range of the resulting type.

  • Avoid casting to a narrower type, and instead continue to use a wider type.


In this example, a value is read from standard input into a long. Because the value is a user-controlled value, it could be extremely large. Casting this value to a narrower type could therefore cause unexpected truncation. The scaled2 example uses a guard to avoid this problem and checks the range of the input before performing the cast. If the value is too large to cast to type int it is rejected as invalid.

class Test {
	public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
			long data;

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

			// AVOID: potential truncation if input data is very large,
			// for example 'Long.MAX_VALUE'
			int scaled = (int)data;


			// GOOD: use a guard to ensure no truncation occurs
			int scaled2;
			if (data > Integer.MIN_VALUE && data < Integer.MAX_VALUE)
				scaled2 = (int)data;
				throw new IllegalArgumentException("Invalid input");