Difference between revisions of "Illegal Pointer Value"

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Revision as of 19:15, 20 February 2009

This is a Vulnerability. To view all vulnerabilities, please see the Vulnerability Category page.

This article includes content generously donated to OWASP by Fortify.JPG.

Last revision (mm/dd/yy): 02/20/2009

Vulnerabilities Table of Contents


This function can return a pointer to memory outside of the buffer to be searched. Subsequent operations on the pointer may have unintended consequences.

This function can return a pointer to memory outside the bounds of the buffer to be searched under either of the following circumstances:

  • An attacker can control the contents of the buffer to be searched
  • An attacker can control the value for which to search

Risk Factors



The following short program uses an untrusted command line argument as the search buffer in a call to rawmemchr().

	int main(int argc, char** argv) {
	  char* ret = rawmemchr(argv[0], 'x');
	  printf("%s\n", ret);

The program is meant to print a substring of argv[0], but it may end up printing some portion of memory above argv[0].

This issue is similar to a string termination error, where the programmer relies on a character array to contain a null terminator.

Related Attacks

Related Vulnerabilities

Related Controls

Related Technical Impacts