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Code injection attacks are one of the most powerful and important classes of attacks on software. In these attacks, the attacker sends malicious input to a software application, where it is stored in memory. The malicious input is chosen in such a way that its representation in memory is also a valid representation of a machine code program that performs actions chosen by the attacker. The attacker then triggers a bug in the application to divert the control flow to this injected machine code. A typical action of the injected code is to launch a command interpreter shell, and hence the malicious input is often called shell-code. Attacks are usually performed against network facing applications, and such applications often perform validations or encodings on input.
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