Definition: A buffer overflow is literally the "spill over of data" from a designated temporary storage space in memory into an area that can be used to launch attacks. The surplus data or values may end up in adjacent memory and/or being processed in a different manner that cause problems. The extra information may be malicious code that is specifically designed to cause failure in and to “inject” directives for the purpose of provoking known conditions within a computer system or taking advantage of breaches. Vendors and programmers are now more on guard against this type of attack vector.
Its Relevance: Overloading the allotted space for data or information to be stored can cause malfunctions in the execution of a program. One widely used database product was exploited in the manner described above and ultimately unauthorized intruders were able to grant themselves administrative privileges. Crackers could then free to take control of your information system.
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