What happens if strncpy copies random data into a buffer?

  • A+

Suppose you have a char buffer that you want to copy an std::string into. Are there consequences of copying extra data into the buffer, outside of the strings scope, even though the buffer has adequate size?


std::string my_string = "hello"; char my_buffer[128]; memset(my_buffer, 0, 128);  strncpy(my_buffer, my_string.c_str(), 128); 

So "hello" gets copied into my_buffer, but so will 123 other bytes of data that comes after my_string. Are there any consequences of this? Is it harmful for the buffer to hold this other data?


but so will 123 other bytes of data that comes after my_string

This assumption is incorrect: strncpy pays attention to null termination of the source string, never reading past null terminator. The remaining data will be set to '/0' characters:

destination is padded with zeros until a total of num characters have been written to it. [reference]

This is in contrast to memcpy, which requires both the source and the destination to be of sufficient size in order to avoid undefined behavior.


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