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Date: Thu, 1 May 2014 08:06:02 +0400
From: Solar Designer <>
To: Dan Carpenter <>
	Kees Cook <>, Dave Jones <>,
	Andrew Morton <>
Subject: Re: [patch] lib: check for strcpy() overflows to fixed length buffers

On Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 06:08:44PM +0300, Dan Carpenter wrote:
> There are sometimes where we know that we are doing an strcpy() into a
> fixed length buffer.  In those cases, we could verify that the strcpy()
> doesn't overflow.  This patch introduces DEBUG_STRICT_SLOW_STRCPY_CHECKS
> if you want to check for that.

FWIW, I had posted similar macros for userland strcpy() and friends to
the security-audit list (now defunct) in 1998.  Someone preserved a copy
here (although the indentation is lost):

In (weird) use, with proper indentation:

Personally, I was using this at the time for building known-broken
software like wu-ftpd, where the risk of false positives felt lower than
the risk of buffer overflow bugs being in fact present in the code.

I used gcc's Statement Exprs extension, which is also used in the Linux
kernel a lot:

So maybe you should, too.  (That is, if you want to go ahead with this
approach for code that isn't meant to be as broken as wu-ftpd was.)
This lets us propagate the original return value.

To determine the destination buffer size, I simply used sizeof() and
skipped my added protection in case the size looked like that of a
pointer.  Now you have those nice new gcc features instead. :-)

> The downside is that it makes strcpy slower.

I guess the slowdown is mostly from the added strlen().  I avoided it by
using strncat(), so I had truncation instead of detection.  It is
unclear which is better.

Other functions I did this for are strcat(), sprintf(), vsprintf().


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