Failure States

As previously discussed, buffer overflows are one way in which an attacker can attempt to compromise application security; therefore, it is important that the developer exam the ways in which the application can fail and attempt to contain the damage. Well-coded applications have built-in recovery procedures, such as the following:

  • Fail safe If a failure is detected, the system is protected from compromise by termination of services or disabling of the system.
  • Fail soft A detected failure terminates the noncritical process or application while the system continues to function.

Applications that recover to a fail-open state allow an attacker to bypass security controls and easily compromise the system. Systems that fail-open are typically undesirable because of the security risk.

CISSP Exam Cram 2
CISSP Exam Cram 2
ISBN: 078973446X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 204
Authors: Michael Gregg
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