The guidance quoted says, “SHOULD NOT”.  As defined in the doc,
The terms “SHOULD” and “SHOULD NOT” indicate that among several possibilities 
one is recommended as particularly suitable, without mentioning or excluding 
others, or that a certain course of action is preferred but not necessarily 
required, or that (in the negative form) a certain possibility or course of 
action is discouraged but not prohibited.

So, it is perfectly valid for an organization to require these controls to be 
in place for their passwords, even if discouraged.  If those are their control 
requirements, then these weaknesses describe the weakness in the system 
correctly for their control.  These still have use & function – even if you 
want to add language to clarify that control deficiency is not encouraged since 
the underlying control is discouraged.

-Larry Shields, CISSP
Chief of Information Security Services
Dept. Head R131 – MITRE InfoSec

From: Steven M Christey <>
Sent: Friday, December 3, 2021 1:49 PM
To: Seifried, Kurt <>; CWE Research Discussion 
Subject: RE: Time to retire CWE-262 and CWE-263


For a while, I’ve been wondering what to do about these. We have a Status value 
of “Obsolete” which might be useful, or we could outright deprecate them.  At 
the absolute minimum, actively discouraging the practice makes sense.

However, we still need to account for the CWE use cases in which real-world 
code – for whatever reason – is still using password aging.  We have to allow 
for multiple software development models and contexts for product users.  Some 
kind of CWE entry still needs to be available for people to point out the 

So perhaps a new entry like “Reliance on Password Aging” could be created, and 
these two could be deprecated.

I’d love to hear broader discussion from others on this list. Is it time to 
deprecate these two entries outright? Are there any legitimate cases where 
password aging still makes sense (even from a practical standpoint)? Or maybe 
keep CWE-263 since it’s a followon weakness that occurs because of that bad 


From: Kurt Seifried <<>>
Sent: Friday, December 3, 2021 12:57 PM
To: CWE Research Discussion 
Subject: Time to retire CWE-262 and CWE-263

Not Using Password Aging - (262)

Password Aging with Long Expiration - (263)

REFERENCES needs updating with: Memorized Secret Verifiers

Verifiers SHOULD NOT impose other composition rules (e.g., requiring mixtures 
of different character types or prohibiting consecutively repeated characters) 
for memorized secrets. Verifiers SHOULD NOT require memorized secrets to be 
changed arbitrarily (e.g., periodically). However, verifiers SHALL force a 
change if there is evidence of compromise of the authenticator.

And ideally, we should rewrite BOTH of these CWE's to state "these are 

Kurt Seifried (He/Him)<>

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