top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureninp0

Integer Underflow Vulnerabilities

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Integer Underflow Vulnerabilities


Integer underflow vulnerabilities are a type of software vulnerability that can be exploited to cause a system to crash or allow an attacker to gain access to sensitive information. Integer underflow occurs when an integer value is reduced below its minimum value, often resulting in an unexpected result. Integer underflow vulnerabilities can be exploited in a variety of ways, including buffer overflows, data corruption, and denial of service attacks.


What is an Integer Underflow?


An integer underflow is a type of software vulnerability that occurs when an integer value is reduced below its minimum value. This can cause a program to crash, or an attacker to gain access to sensitive information. Integer underflow vulnerabilities can be exploited in a variety of ways, including buffer overflows, data corruption, and denial of service attacks.


Integer underflow vulnerabilities are caused by a program's failure to check for the minimum value of an integer before performing an operation on it. For example, if a program is subtracting two integers, and one of the integers is below the minimum value, the result of the operation can be unexpected and lead to an integer underflow.


How is an Integer Underflow Exploited?


Integer underflow vulnerabilities can be exploited in a variety of ways. The most common way is through buffer overflows. A buffer overflow occurs when a program attempts to write more data into a memory buffer than it can contain. This can cause the program to crash, or an attacker to gain access to sensitive information.


Another way an integer underflow can be exploited is through data corruption. Data corruption occurs when an integer is reduced below its minimum value and the data that is stored in memory is corrupted. This can cause a program to crash or an attacker to gain access to sensitive information.


Finally, integer underflow vulnerabilities can be exploited to launch denial of service (DoS) attacks. A DoS attack occurs when an attacker floods a system with requests, causing it to become overloaded and unable to respond to legitimate requests.


Proof of Concept Code


The following proof of concept code demonstrates an integer underflow vulnerability using the scanf() function. This code will attempt to read an integer from the user and then subtract one from it. If the user inputs a value below the minimum value, an integer underflow will occur, causing the program to crash.



#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
    int x;
    printf("Enter an integer: ");
    scanf("%d", &x);
    x = x - 1;
    printf("The new value is %d\n", x);
    return 0;
}


Conclusion


Integer underflow vulnerabilities are a type of software vulnerability that can be exploited to cause a system to crash or allow an attacker to gain access to sensitive information. Integer underflow occurs when an integer value is reduced below its minimum value, often resulting in an unexpected result. Integer underflow vulnerabilities can be exploited in a variety of ways, including buffer overflows, data corruption, and denial of service attacks. The proof of concept code provided demonstrates how an integer underflow vulnerability can be exploited using the scanf() function.



3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


0day Inc.

"world-class security solutions for a brighter tomorrow"

bottom of page