Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

You are viewing an old version of this page. View the current version.

Compare with Current View Page History

« Previous Version 12 Next »

The result of calling malloc(0) or calloc() to allocate 0 bytes (calloc(1,0), calloc(0,0), or calloc(0,1)) is undefined. From a practical standpoint, allocating 0 bytes with calloc() and malloc() can lead to programming errors with critical security implications, such as buffer overflows. This occurs because the result of allocating 0 bytes with calloc() and malloc() may not considered an error, thus the pointer returned may not be NULL. Instead, the pointer may reference a block of memory on the heap of size zero. If memory is fetched from, or stored in this a location serious error could occur.

Non-compliant Code Example 1

In this example, the user defined function calc_size() (not shown) is used to calculate the size of the string other_srting. The result of calc_size() is returned to str_size and used as the size parameter in a call to malloc(). However, if calc_size returned zero, then when the strncpy() is executed, a heap buffer overflow will occur.

list = (int*)malloc(size);
if (i_list == NULL) {
  /* Handle Allocation Error */
}
/* Continue Processing list */

Compliant Code Example 1

To assure that zero is never passed as a size argument to malloc(), a check must be made on the size parameter.

if (size == 0) {
  /* Handle Error */
}
list = (int*)malloc(size);
if (i_list == NULL) {
  /* Handle Allocation Error */
}
/* Continue Processing list */

References

  • No labels