In the dynamic world of software development for embedded systems, code, or algorithm cannot merely be considered correct for doing what you want. Other aspects related to readability, maintenance and security must be considered during its implementation. There are many types of vulnerabilities, each of which is due to a programmer error—usually caused by flawed conception, lack of knowledge, understanding of the functions/libraries used by other programmers, or even unexpected arithmetic failures.
Vulnerabilities in program
In the given program, the user is asked to enter a string, and the program will reverse the string using the library function. The user will enter the string, so we don't know the length of the string. User can enter a larger string than the size of the array. The buffer overflow can occur in the program. It happens when a program writes data in a particular variable; however, a larger amount of data than was predicted by the program. Buffer is an array or vector variable that represents a memory location. When entering data beyond the capacity of the memory space, the extra information overwrites the memories after the buffers. As a result, inconsistent and corrupted information is generated, and computers on the network are more exposed to vulnerabilities. When a Buffer Overflow occurs, the data is written out of the buffer. The running program can become unstable, crash or return corrupted information. This situation may make it possible to execute arbitrary code, requiring only that it is properly positioned in the process memory area. The memory leak happens at compilation, but the condition causing a memory leak to occur is reading of unbounded string, and we can recognize it during the compilation of the code (Seacord & Pethia, 2015). But this can be handled by using best practices.
Another issue which is occurred in the program that if the user enters space in the string, then the program will only reverse the data entered before space. As space indicates a new line and the program reverse the data entered before space. It splits the input until it is changed, and therefore shows the incomplete reversal. Programming languages are as vulnerable as the programmer allows them to be. In the given code, we used a vulnerable function from the Standard Library (std::reverse). It is one of several functions in the library that fail to verify the length/limit of its arguments.
Different methods can handle these problems. Use secure library modules. Security libraries in strings are available in C++ language. For example, the C ++ Standard Template Library offers the class string. This class provides built-in functions that are safe in handling strings and should be preferred over the usual functions. When testing the return of a function for some error, we must ensure that we are testing against the error that was forced and not just testing against some generic error. Use code analysis tools. Several attempts were made to create an application that would perform an analysis on the source code and try to find potential flaws, including buffer overflows.
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Managing the implementation of code in a secure environment can create a threat from several angles. Fixing problems without thorough testing will result in unusual behaviors. Modifying code by adding new libraries might not be the safest way to write safe code. Creating a standard string to avoid the bounded array is not the right approach. And the size of user input must be less than the size of storage so it can work correctly.
Seacord, R., & Pethia, R. (2015). Secure coding in C and C++. Addison-Wesley.