# Insufficient Precision or Accuracy of a Real Number

## CWE-1339

#### Short description

#### Extended description

When a security decision or calculation requires highly precise, accurate numbers such as financial calculations or prices, then small variations in the number could be exploited by an attacker.

There are multiple ways to store the fractional part of a real number in a computer. In all of these cases, there is a limit to the accuracy of recording a fraction. If the fraction can be represented in a fixed number of digits (binary or decimal), there might not be enough digits assigned to represent the number. In other cases the number cannot be represented in a fixed number of digits due to repeating in decimal or binary notation (e.g. 0.333333...) or due to a transcendental number such as Π or √2. Rounding of numbers can lead to situations where the computer results do not adequately match the result of sufficiently accurate math.

#### Best practices to prevent this CWE

### Phase: Implementation; Patching and Maintenance

The developer or maintainer can move to a more accurate representation of real numbers. In extreme cases, the programmer can move to representations such as ratios of BigInts which can represent real numbers to extremely fine precision. The programmer can also use the concept of an Unum real. The memory and CPU tradeoffs of this change must be examined. Since floating point reals are used in many products and many locations, they are implemented in hardware and most format changes will cause the calculations to be moved into software resulting in slower products.