Book Image

Extreme C

By : Kamran Amini
Book Image

Extreme C

By: Kamran Amini

Overview of this book

There’s a lot more to C than knowing the language syntax. The industry looks for developers with a rigorous, scientific understanding of the principles and practices. Extreme C will teach you to use C’s advanced low-level power to write effective, efficient systems. This intensive, practical guide will help you become an expert C programmer. Building on your existing C knowledge, you will master preprocessor directives, macros, conditional compilation, pointers, and much more. You will gain new insight into algorithm design, functions, and structures. You will discover how C helps you squeeze maximum performance out of critical, resource-constrained applications. C still plays a critical role in 21st-century programming, remaining the core language for precision engineering, aviations, space research, and more. This book shows how C works with Unix, how to implement OO principles in C, and fully covers multi-processing. In Extreme C, Amini encourages you to think, question, apply, and experiment for yourself. The book is essential for anybody who wants to take their C to the next level.
Table of Contents (23 chapters)

Bounds-checking functions

One of the serious problems with C programs operating on strings and byte arrays is the ability to go easily beyond the boundary defined for a buffer or a byte array.

As a reminder, a buffer is a region of memory that is used as the place holder for a byte array or a string variable. Going beyond the boundary of a buffer causes a buffer overflow and based on that a malicious entity can organize an attack (usually called a buffer overflow attack). This type of attack either results in a denial of service (DOS) or in exploitation of the victim C program.

Most such attacks usually start in a function operating on character or byte arrays. String manipulation functions found in string.h, such as strcpy and strcat, are among the vulnerable functions that lack a boundary checking mechanism to prevent buffer overflow attacks.

However, as part of C11, a new set of functions has been introduced. Bounds-checking functions borrow the same name from the...