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  • What are the common motivations for an attacker to target a specific piece of software? Give at least three reasons and justify your answer with analysis or examples.
  • What could an attacker stand to gain from compromising a piece of software? Justify your answers with analysis or examples.
  • Why would an attacker want to attack a trivial but widespread software program? Give at least two reasons. Is attacking trivial but widespread software a better or worse choice than attacking more complex software that protects sensitive information? Support your answer with appropriate reasoning.

Consider the need to protect software from becoming unstable through buffer overflow exploits and answer the following questions.

  • Strong bounds checking means a programming language must explicitly declare the length of any variable (including arrays), and these bounds are tested before storing any information. How could strong bounds checking be both beneficial and harmful to a language? What is the trade-off that has to occur in a language with strong bounds checking compared to one without it? Justify your answer.
  • How does string processing allow for possible buffer overflows even with bounds checking in a language? What types of software or what languages are most vulnerable to buffer overflow attack and why? Give at least two examples and support your answer.

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