Mutexes are used to protect shared data structures being accessed concurrently. The thread that locks the mutex owns it, and the owning thread should be the only thread to unlock the mutex. If the mutex is destroyed while still in use, critical sections and shared data are no longer protected. This rule is a specific instance of CON31-C. Do not unlock or destroy another thread's mutex using POSIX threads.
Noncompliant Code Example
In this noncompliant code example, a race condition exists between a cleanup and a worker thread. The cleanup thread destroys the lock, which it believes is no longer in use. If there is a heavy load on the system, the worker thread that held the lock can take longer than expected. If the lock is destroyed before the worker thread has completed modifying the shared data, the program may exhibit unexpected behavior.
This compliant solution requires that there is no chance a mutex will be needed after it has been destroyed. As always, it is important to check for error conditions when locking the mutex.
The risks of ignoring mutex ownership are similar to the risk of not using mutexes at all, which can result in a violation of data integrity.
Do not destroy another thread's mutex
|CERT C: Rule POS48-C||Checks for destruction of locked mutex (rule partially covered)|
|4971, 4972, 4981, 4982|
Search for vulnerabilities resulting from the violation of this rule on the CERT website.
Key here (explains table format and definitions)
|CWE 2.11||CWE-667, Insufficient locking||2017-07-10: CERT: Rule subset of CWE|
CERT-CWE Mapping Notes
Key here for mapping notes
CWE-667 and CON31-C/POS48-C
Intersection( CON31-C, POS48-C) = Ø
CWE-667 = Union, CON31-C, POS48-C, list) where list =
- Locking & Unlocking issues besides unlocking another thread’s C mutex or pthread mutex.