In computer security and programming, a buffer over-read is an anomaly where a program, while reading data from a buffer, overruns the buffer’s boundary and reads (or tries to read) adjacent memory. This is a special case of violation of memory safety.
Buffer over-reads can be triggered, as in the Heartbleed bug, by maliciously crafted inputs that are designed to exploit a lack of bounds checking to read parts of memory not intended to be accessible. They may also be caused by programming errors alone. Buffer over-reads can result in erratic program behavior, including memory access errors, incorrect results, a crash, or a breach of system security. Thus, they are the basis of many software vulnerabilities and can be maliciously exploited to access privileged information.
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