How To Protect from Unchecked Array Indexing

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Unchecked array indexing, depending on its instantiation, can be responsible for any number of related issues. Most prominent of these possible flaws is the buffer overflow condition. Due to this fact, consequences range from denial of service, and data corruption, to full blown arbitrary code execution The most common condition situation leading to unchecked array indexing is the use of loop index variables as buffer indexes. If the end condition for the loop is subject to a flaw, the index can grow or shrink unbounded, therefore causing a buffer overflow or underflow. Another common situation leading to this condition is the use of a function’s return value, or the resulting value of a calculation directly as an index in to a buffer.

  • Requirements specification: The choice could be made to use a language that is not susceptible to these issues.
  • Implementation: Include sanity checks to ensure the validity of any values used as index variables. In loops, use greater-than-or-equal-to, or less-than-or-equal-to, as opposed to simply greater-than, or less-than compare statements.
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