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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to Security+
 9  Chapter 1:  General Security Concepts (Domain 1.0; 30%)
      9  1.4  Attacks

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1.4.12  Software Exploitation

Software is written by humans, and thus tends to be imperfect. In the quest to “ship” a product, or “go into production” with an in-house application, corners are cut and long hours are put in, and “bugs” (or flaws) tend to creep into programs unintentionally. Crackers can exploit some of these bugs.

A later section looks at code deliberately designed for a malicious purpose. This section looks at code that wasn’t meant to be a security problem, but which someone figured out how to use, to cause trouble.

Software exploitation often involves subjecting a program to an unusual condition it doesn’t handle well – such as sending an excessively large amount of data to the program, sending data of an unanticipated type (say, something that looks like an OS command or program statement rather than a last name), running the program while the system’s disk space is full, or running the program with some strange setting (used by the program) in the user’s login “environment”.

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