Overrun refers to a situation where data is written or read beyond the allocated buffer or memory space. An overrun can occur when the program or system tries to write data to a buffer that is already full or when it tries to read data from a buffer that is insufficient to hold the amount of data being requested.
Common effects of overruns:
- Data corruption. By overwriting or modifying data that is stored in adjacent memory locations, it can cause errors or crashes.
- Data loss. It can corrupt or overwrite critical data, leading to unresponsiveness and data loss.
- Security vulnerabilities. It can open holes in security and allow attackers to execute malicious code or gain unauthorized access to a system.
- Reduced performance. It can reduce app performance by increasing the amount of time it takes to process data or perform certain operations.
How to prevent overruns?
- Buffer sizing. It’s critical to ensure buffers are properly sized.
- Bounds checking. Techniques such as range checking and length checking can help verify that input data is within the expected range before processing it.
- Memory protection. Memory protection mechanisms can help protect memory regions from unauthorized access or modification.
- Input validation. This involves checking that input data meets certain criteria, such as a specific data type or format.