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Format String Vulnerabilities

This course introduces format string vulnerabilities, their exploitation and possible mitigations.

7 videos  //  32 minutes of training

Course description

Print statements are a deceptively simple aspect of programming. By exploiting format string vulnerabilities, an attacker can read from or write to arbitrary memory within a program. This course describes how to identify format string vulnerabilities and how to write code that is not vulnerable to attack.

Course syllabus

Introduction to Format String VulnerabilitiesDuration: 1:45

This video provides an introduction to the format string vulnerabilities course.

Introduction to PrintingDuration: 6:37

This video covers the fundamentals of printing and format strings.

Format String VulnerabilitiesDuration: 4:40

This video describes how format string vulnerabilities can make an application vulnerable to attack.

Exploiting Format String VulnerabilitiesDuration: 6:02

This video describes how format string vulnerabilities can be exploited by an attacker.

Format String Vulnerability Case StudyDuration: 4:33

This video describes a case study of an application containing a format string vulnerability.

Format String MitigationsDuration: 2:45

This video describes mitigations for format string vulnerabilities.

Format String DemoDuration: 5:56

This video demonstrates exploitation of a format string vulnerability.

Meet the author

Howard Poston


Howard Poston is a cybersecurity researcher with a background in blockchain, cryptography and malware analysis. He has a master's degree in Cyber Operations from the Air Force Institute of Technology and two years of experience in cybersecurity research and development at Sandia National Labs. He currently works as a freelance consultant providing training and content creation for cyber and blockchain security. He can be reached by email at or via his website at

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Plans and pricing





$599 / license

Annually. Includes all content plus team admin and reporting.