= B =
buffer overflow n.
What happens when you try to stuff
more data into a buffer (holding area) than it can handle. This
problem is commonly exploited by crackers to get arbitrary
commands executed by a program running with root permissions. This
may be due to a mismatch in the processing rates of the producing
and consuming processes (see overrun and firehose syndrome), or because the buffer is simply too small to hold all
the data that must accumulate before a piece of it can be
processed. For example, in a text-processing tool that
crunches a line at a time, a short line buffer can result in
lossage as input from a long line overflows the buffer and
trashes data beyond it. Good defensive programming would check for
overflow on each character and stop accepting data when the buffer
is full up. The term is used of and by humans in a metaphorical
sense. "What time did I agree to meet you? My buffer must have
overflowed." Or "If I answer that phone my buffer is going to
overflow." See also spam, overrun screw.
--Jargon File, autonoded by rescdsk.
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First created by: rescdsk
Modified by: (nobody)