- July 7, 2022
- Posted by: Nicola Selenu
Buffers are memory storage regions that temporarily hold data while it is being transferred from one location to another. A buffer overflow (or buffer overrun) occurs when the volume of data exceeds the storage capacity of the memory buffer. As a result, the program attempting to write the data to the buffer overwrites adjacent memory locations.
For example, a buffer for log-in credentials may be designed to expect username and password inputs of 8 bytes, so if a transaction involves an input of 10 bytes (that is, 2 bytes more than expected), the program may write the excess data past the buffer boundary.
Attackers exploit buffer overflow issues by overwriting the memory of an application. This changes the execution path of the program, triggering a response that damages files or exposes private information. For example, an attacker may introduce extra code, sending new instructions to the application to gain access to IT systems.
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