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Buffer Overrun


A buffer overrun or sometimes known as a buffer overflow is a problem that results when a computer program writes more data to a buffer that what has been allocated for that specific buffer. The consequence is that the data is written to an adjoined portion of the memory. This new data could end up overwriting other data. The effects on the program are unanticipated results. It could cause the program to run erratically, and then cause it to crash. On worst case scenarios, it could trigger the running of a malicious program. This is why it is unwise to risk any buffer overflows in a program.

Avoiding Buffer Overrun Errors
In order to avoid buffer overrun errors, it would be best to use safe functions and avoid those that are more prone to overruns. Here are other tips that would help you avoid buffer overrun errors:

Safe Arrays
One of the most common ways of committing overruns is through writing or reading further than the end of an array. To steer clear of this, the best method for the C++ language is to use std::vector when it comes to arrays and use .at()member function. This will disregard any outside array access attempts. If you follow this process, you will have fewer chances of buffer overruns.

Safe Libraries
A great way to avoid buffer overruns is to opt to use a safe library. A safe library is available with Visual Studio IDE and compiler. Visual Studio Express is free and is an excellent solution to avoiding overrun buffer errors. However, if you do not wish to do this, the programmer may also write the function himself.

Detection Tools

If you unsure with your program, then you may also use some tools that were created to detect buffer overruns. They are advantageous when writing or trying to debug codes. Before running programs, even presumably using safe codes and safe libraries, it would still be better to run it first on a detection software. This would be the only way to ensure that you would avoid buffer overrun errors completely. Give you an idea of bytes in everyday use, consider file size. The average MP3 audio file, for example, is around four megabytes in size or 4,194,304 bytes. Today's hard disks are enormous enough to store tens of thousands of tracks. Video files are much larger, weighing in at around 700 megabytes for a standard-definition movie and upwards of four gigabytes for a high-definition movie recorded at 1080p.

 

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