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buffer overflow
Last modified: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 

The condition wherein the data transferred to a buffer exceeds the storage capacity of the buffer and some of the data “overflows” into another buffer, one that the data was not intended to go into. Since buffers can only hold a specific amount of data, when that capacity has been reached the data has to flow somewhere else, typically into another buffer, which can corrupt data that is already contained in that buffer.

Malicious hackers can launch buffer overflow attacks wherein data with instructions to corrupt a system are purposely written into a file in full knowledge that the data will overflow a buffer and release the instructions into the computer’s instructions.

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For internet.com pages about buffer overflow . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Buffer Overflow Attacks and Their Countermeasures
What buffer overflow is, why it’s dangerous, and how it’s preventable.

related categories

Caches

Memory

Security

related terms

buffer

buffer underrun

command buffer

disk cache

frame buffer


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