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Memory Leaks and Buffer Overflow's

I was recently speaking to a colleague who was audited by the FDA, validation documentation in relation to a sprayer machine was citied for not having sufficient software validation testing in relation to the following two area’s

· Memory Leaks
· Buffer Overflow

As this application is a standalone piece of equipment and does not have concurrent users I though it was very strange that such testing was required.

Below are definitions for the following, would be interested to hear if anyone has had a similar experience, and how these would be tested?


Memory Leaks: Memory leaks are often thought of as failures to release unused memory by a computer program. Strictly speaking, it is just unneccesary memory consumption. A memory leak occurs when the program loses the ability to free the memory. A memory leak diminishes the performance of the computer, as it becomes unable to use all its available memory.

Buffer Overflow: This happens when more data is put into a buffer or holding area, then the buffer can handle. This is due to a mismatch in processing rates between the producing and consuming processes. This can result in system crashes or the creation of a back door leading to system access.