TICS Coding Standard Viewer 
TIOBE Software Quality Framework
Print-friendly version
©TIOBE Software www.tiobe.com
 
C++ Coding Standard
Search

Rule:  STR32-CChecked automatically with code checker

Synopsis:Do not pass a non-null-terminated character sequence to a library function that expects a string
Language:C++
Severity Level:1
Category:Security


Description:

Many library functions accept a string or wide string argument with the constraint that the string they receive is properly null-terminated. Passing a character sequence or wide character sequence that is not null-terminated to such a function can result in accessing memory that is outside the bounds of the object. Do not pass a character sequence or wide character sequence that is not null-terminated to a library function that expects a string or wide string argument. 

Noncompliant Code Example

This code example is noncompliant because the character sequence c_str will not be null-terminated when passed as an argument to printf(). (See STR11-C. Do not specify the bound of a character array initialized with a string literal on how to properly initialize character arrays.)

#include <stdio.h>
   
void func( void ) {
   char c_str[3] = "abc" ;
   printf ( "%s\n" , c_str);
}

Compliant Solution

This compliant solution does not specify the bound of the character array in the array declaration. If the array bound is omitted, the compiler allocates sufficient storage to store the entire string literal, including the terminating null character.

#include <stdio.h>
   
void func( void ) {
   char c_str[] = "abc" ;
   printf ( "%s\n" , c_str);
}

Noncompliant Code Example

This code example is noncompliant because the wide character sequence cur_msg will not be null-terminated when passed to wcslen() . This will occur if lessen_memory_usage() is invoked while cur_msg_size still has its initial value of 1024.

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <wchar.h>
   
wchar_t *cur_msg = NULL;
size_t cur_msg_size = 1024;
size_t cur_msg_len = 0;
 
void lessen_memory_usage( void ) {
   wchar_t *temp;
   size_t temp_size;
 
   /* ... */
 
   if (cur_msg != NULL) {
     temp_size = cur_msg_size / 2 + 1;
     temp = realloc (cur_msg, temp_size * sizeof ( wchar_t ));
     /* temp &and cur_msg may no longer be null-terminated */
     if (temp == NULL) {
       /* Handle error */
     }
 
     cur_msg = temp;
     cur_msg_size = temp_size;
     cur_msg_len = wcslen(cur_msg);
   }
}

Compliant Solution

In this compliant solution, cur_msg will always be null-terminated when passed to wcslen() :

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <wchar.h>
   
wchar_t *cur_msg = NULL;
size_t cur_msg_size = 1024;
size_t cur_msg_len = 0;
 
void lessen_memory_usage( void ) {
   wchar_t *temp;
   size_t temp_size;
 
   /* ... */
 
   if (cur_msg != NULL) {
     temp_size = cur_msg_size / 2 + 1;
     temp = realloc (cur_msg, temp_size * sizeof ( wchar_t ));
     /* temp and cur_msg may no longer be null-terminated */
     if (temp == NULL) {
       /* Handle error */
     }
 
     cur_msg = temp;
     /* Properly null-terminate cur_msg */
     cur_msg[temp_size - 1] = L '\0' ;
     cur_msg_size = temp_size;
     cur_msg_len = wcslen(cur_msg);
   }
}

Noncompliant Code Example ( strncpy() )

Although the strncpy() function takes a string as input, it does not guarantee that the resulting value is still null-terminated. In the following noncompliant code example, if no null character is contained in the first n characters of the source array, the result will not be null-terminated. Passing a non-null-terminated character sequence to  strlen() is undefined behavior.

#include <string.h>
   
enum { STR_SIZE = 32 };
   
size_t func( const char *source) {
   char c_str[STR_SIZE];
   size_t ret = 0;
 
   if (source) {
     c_str[ sizeof (c_str) - 1] = '\0' ;
     strncpy (c_str, source, sizeof (c_str));
     ret = strlen (c_str);
   } else {
     /* Handle null pointer */
   }
   return ret;
}

Compliant Solution (Truncation)

This compliant solution is correct if the programmer's intent is to truncate the string:

#include <string.h>
   
enum { STR_SIZE = 32 };
   
size_t func( const char *source) {
   char c_str[STR_SIZE];
   size_t ret = 0;
 
   if (source) {
     strncpy (c_str, source, sizeof (c_str) - 1);
     c_str[ sizeof (c_str) - 1] = '\0' ;
     ret = strlen (c_str);
   } else {
     /* Handle null pointer */
   }
   return ret;
}

Compliant Solution (Truncation, strncpy_s())

The C Standard, Annex K strncpy_s() function can also be used to copy with truncation. The strncpy_s() function copies up to n characters from the source array to a destination array. If no null character was copied from the source array, then the n th position in the destination array is set to a null character, guaranteeing that the resulting string is null-terminated.

#define __STDC_WANT_LIB_EXT1__ 1
#include <string.h>
 
enum { STR_SIZE = 32 };
 
size_t func( const char *source) {
   char a[STR_SIZE];
   size_t ret = 0;
 
   if (source) {
     errno_t err = strncpy_s(
       a, sizeof (a), source, strlen (source)
     );
     if (err != 0) {
       /* Handle error */
     } else {
       ret = strnlen_s(a, sizeof (a));
     }
   } else {
      /* Handle null pointer */
   }
   return ret;
}

Compliant Solution (Copy without Truncation)

If the programmer's intent is to copy without truncation, this compliant solution copies the data and guarantees that the resulting array is null-terminated. If the string cannot be copied, it is handled as an error condition.

#include <string.h>
   
enum { STR_SIZE = 32 };
   
size_t func( const char *source) {
   char c_str[STR_SIZE];
   size_t ret = 0;
 
   if (source) {
     if ( strlen (source) < sizeof (c_str)) {
       strcpy (c_str, source);
       ret = strlen (c_str);
     } else {
       /* Handle string-too-large */
     }
   } else {
     /* Handle null pointer */
   }
   return ret;
}