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Stack smashing

Stack smashing

Stack smashing definition

Stack smashing is a cyberattack that causes a stack buffer overflow. A program starts writing more data to a buffer than it is capable of holding, which may lead to the crashing of the program or the whole system.

Stack smashing purpose

Hackers often use this attack to gain unauthorized access to a computer. To execute it, they exploit a vulnerability often found in various software. The program accepts data from unknown sources, the stack buffer is overfilled with data sent by the attacker, and they are then able to inject malicious executable code into the running program. This allows them to take control, and if the program had special privileges in the system, the attacker can now also use those privileges to access different parts of the device.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security