Developing the Game Component for a Visualization Tool for Teaching Buffer Overflow Concepts

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Dorothy Yuan, Computer Science, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University


Computer Science

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-2021


Buffer overflow has been a serious issue in software applications. We have developed a web-based interactive visualization tool that aims to help students gain a deeper understanding of buffer overflow concepts. This tool includes six learning components with a space shooter mini-game between the learning concepts that helps test students on buffer overflow concepts. We are improving the mini-game component so that it will be connected with the buffer overflow concepts the visualization tool demonstrates. The goal is to help students learn the different aspects of buffer overflow concepts while having fun. The mini game includes five levels. In level one, players are given an empty buffer and they must fill this buffer by shooting meteors that have a letter attached to them. In level two, players are given a buffer of a certain size and that buffer must be overflowed in order to complete the level. In level three, players are given a random integer variable contained within the buffer using hexadecimal notation. To complete level three, players must overwrite the value of the variable. In level four, players are given a return address contained within the buffer using hexadecimal notation. Level four is completed by overwriting the return address. In the final level, players are to overwrite the return address with a specific value in order to complete the level.

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