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Date: Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:55:02 +0300
From: Alexander Cherepanov <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Specification of a modular crypt format (2)

On 2015-10-02 04:29, Peter Gutmann wrote:
> Alexander Cherepanov <> writes:
>> It's hard to guarantee it without seeing a full program but this
>> multiplication very much looks like a signed integer overflow which is
>> undefined behavior (UB).
> It's checked a few lines down with 'value >= ( MAX_INTLENGTH / 10 )', where
> 'value' is the input to the multiply.

Yes, I know, but it's too late, harm is already done. If you evaluate 
"value * 10" somewhere then a compiler can assume that "value <= INT_MAX 
/ 10" and use this to optimize the following code. Not sure how bad the 
situation in this particular case (due to your unusual limits) but, for 
something similar in spirit, you can recall a problem in Linux with null 
pointer check optimized out after a deref (CVE-2009-1897).

> My programming style is to use consts
> as much as possible, so I create the const where it has to be set at the start
> and then check that it was OK before using it.


>> The last check seems to be superfluous or at least ineffective.
> Paranoid programming, check everything from five different directions if
> possible.  It should actually be stated as an invariant:
>    INVARIANT( value >= 0 && value <= MAX_INTLENGTH );
> but that throws an exception which I don't want in this case.

I doubt this approach is very effective with optimizing compilers. My 
gcc 4.7 -O2 generates the same code with and without your last if. 
Another example -- the following program will happily print negative 
number even though it specifically checks against it:

#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv)
   unsigned short x = -argc;
   int y = x * x;

   if (y >= 0)
     printf("y = %d\n", y);

   return 0;

Alexander Cherepanov

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