Unexpected Sign Extension
The software performs an operation on a number that causes it to be sign extended when it is transformed into a larger data type. When the original number is negative, this can produce unexpected values that lead to resultant weaknesses.
The following examples help to illustrate the nature of this weakness and describe methods or techniques which can be used to mitigate the risk.
Note that the examples here are by no means exhaustive and any given weakness may have many subtle varieties, each of which may require different detection methods or runtime controls.
The following code reads a maximum size and performs a sanity check on that size. It then performs a strncpy, assuming it will not exceed the boundaries of the array. While the use of "short s" is forced in this particular example, short int's are frequently used within real-world code, such as code that processes structured data.
This code first exhibits an example of CWE-839, allowing "s" to be a negative number. When the negative short "s" is converted to an unsigned integer, it becomes an extremely large positive integer. When this converted integer is used by strncpy() it will lead to a buffer overflow (CWE-119).
Weaknesses in this category are related to the rules and recommendations in the Integers (INT) section of the SEI CERT C Coding Standard.
This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Glitch in Computation cluster (SFP1).
This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.
This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during implementation.
This view (slice) covers issues that are found in C++ programs that are not common to all languages.