Stacks? what are they and how to smash them

stack smashing detected
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stacks what are they and how do we smash them say youre building a boat you have a series of steps required to build that boat and a workspace to build it in but you get stuck so you go to Google and start looking around each time you look at something you make a note of where youre up to it so that you know where to jump back to when youre done you look around a bit more and find what youre looking for and decide to send someone an email once youve sent that you see

an email telling you about a super important problem you need to fix it right now but its an attacker trying to trick you in this case the attacker was able to trick the user into clicking a link in their email which then led to them compromising the computer for computers the to-do list is code and the workspace is what we call the stack the stack starts at the bottom region of memory and grows up as more functions and programs are called each of their own stack frame now consider this simple program it prints enter

your name it then gets your name so you enter mr. Joe and it saves it as name of imprints hello and then name so hello mr. Joe lets see what this looks like under the hood so we have the Cobra just saw on the left and our empty stack on the right the current instruction is print enter your name so we push the string enter your name under the stack and then we push the address of the next instruction so we know where to jump back to each function has its own stack frame that

it can use for local variables before another function is cold the address you wanna return to is put on the top of the stack print does its thing and then we jump back to our main program and call get name get name will then set aside some space on the stack to store the users input mr. Joe and then copies this into the main stack frame because data inside a stack frame isnt meant to last after its function returns so it needs to copy it across but wait what happens if the get name function

check how much data is read in in that case if you can read in as much data as you want you can go past your allocator and this is what we call smashing the stack if youre clever you can change the return address to the address of your own input on the stack and execute your own code this is called shellcode and have a bonus video on patreon walking through how to write shellcode and Ill be posting more in-depth videos there for the bonus pack supporters as well as other fun stuff too thank you

tags:
smash the stack, hacking, education
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