security review and patches for libpurple

Ethan Blanton elb at
Tue Aug 9 15:36:58 EDT 2011

Mark Doliner spake unto us the following wisdom:
> On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 9:26 AM, Ethan Blanton <elb at> wrote:
> > In places, yeah.  I think you'll find my changes less offensive than
> > their original patches, but certainly there are still checks which are
> > not really *right*, but will simply prevent crashes.  As to whether
> > overrunning the string is better ... I can't say.  Overrunning buffers
> > doesn't always lead to crashing, sometimes it leads to much more
> > subtle and difficult-to-identify bugs.  When stacks get smashed, even
> > if there's a crash, it may not be easy to find from the backtrace.
> True, but they WOULD show up in valgrind.

Quite possibly true.

> > I'll push my changes here before long, and we can take a collective
> > look at them.  If there's agreement that some of them are bad, or
> > could be fixed in a different, better way, or simply shouldn't be
> > touched, we can always revert.
> Cool, that sounds great to me.  Do you know if there are changes that
> should be bundled with the other security patches in an embargoed
> release?

None of what I've processed so far.  Some of the remaining patches,

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