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Buffer Overflow the Security Threat. What Is It?

Buffer Overflow is an error to programmers as carrying the one is to elementary school math students. So what is the potential security risk, namely buffer overflow, that may arise due poor programming? Find out in this article by Ahm.

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By: Ahm Asaduzzaman
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August 01, 2003
  1. · Buffer Overflow the Security Threat. What Is It?
  2. · Article
  3. · Conclusion

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Buffer Overflow the Security Threat. What Is It?
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 Modern computer architectures have an unfortunate design; it cannot make difference between data and instructions. If you can convince your program in someway, to run data that it has in memory, it will do it quite happily. A particular security flaw in computers, which has become almost ubiquitous in the last few years, is the buffer overflow. It is by far the most common security errors that programmers make.

It is common for few reasons: it is an easy error to make and hard to detect and by itself it has nothing to do with security, and another reason is, its human nature not to expect the unexpected. Buffer overflow attacks may be today’s single most important security threat (approximately half of all security vulnerabilities) and most insidious data-dependant bugs known to mankind.

In this article an attempt has been taken to explain this security threat, an elementary knowledge of C, Assembly and debugging knowledge is required for a better understanding of topics in this article.

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