Know Your Tools

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for Know Your Tools are:

  • Getting familiar with the tools needed for CS 241.

HW0 #

You have already been assigned a HW0 for the class. Here is the HW0 submission link – beware the link does not save so be ready to submit when going through. We’ll spend the first part of class going over the various questions from HW0. Your grade for this lab is partly HW0 and partly the assignment below.

Development #

Git #

(Read the first section of the development site!) You will be using git to submit all your assignments in this course. First go to the repository creator. DO NOT DO THE README TUTORIAL

Once you are in your VM, you’ll need to set up some global defaults

git config --global "FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME"
git config --global

Make sure to replace FIRST_NAME and LAST_NAME and NETID with your information. Then checkout your repository as follows

git clone

which will check out your entire git repo into a folder called ‘NETID’ into your current directory. Now change your directory into that folder:


You’ve probably noticed the repository is empty! In order to grab the latest version of our assignment, complete the following steps.

git remote add release
git pull release master
git push origin master

Graded Files #

One section we will have on the top of every assignment is a section called graded_files these are the files that we use to grade the assignment. git does not allow us to set the rest of the files to readonly to prevent changing them (header files, Makefile). You have to be careful to avoid changing these files. We are working on a system that prevents you from accidentally committing the changes, but there is no easy way to set permissions on your local copy.

Background #

You are working for ShadyCorp Inc. Your boss commissioned your coworker to write a program. The program reads a file, overwrites it multiple times so that it is harder to recover on the hard disk, then encrypts the file, then writes it once to an output file.

The head of ShadyCorp is lazy, so they want more features. They want the first five lines of the file and the last five lines of the file to be copied to the beginning. They also want the file to be wrapped to be more easily read on mobile devices. Lines should be at most 80 characters (not including the newline). If a line is longer than 80 characters, then it should be split into two or more lines, where all the but the last line has 80 characters (not including the newline). Your co-worker sighs and comes up with the following game plan.

  1. Read the entire file from disk
  2. Wrap the lines to 80 characters max
  3. Do the rewrite and make sure the file is mangled
  4. Find the first five and the last five lines and copy them in the front of the string
  5. Write it to an output file
  6. In the case where all is successful, print out the process address space. (You need to implement this)


$ ./secure_move -h

	./secure_move: <path> <destination>

./secure_move takes a file located at <path>, copies the file into memory
then wraps the file to 80 characters maximum and
overwrites the file 3 times to prevent recovery.
Then it writes to the file at <desination> the following
	- The first five lines (after wrapping)
	- A newline
	- The last five lines (after wrapping)
	- A newline
	- The whole file

Your boss at ShadyCorp is very paranoid. To test that his program, he wrote a test suite himself. Your co-worker went home sick that day. Now, he hasn’t been heard from in two weeks; you don’t ask any questions. The boss sent you an email to fix the code that your co-worker gave you. Since you are the Boss’ cousin, he gives you the test cases that you failed and promises to run the test cases every day (your mom is very convincing).

But, he imposed a penalty. You are currently passing some test cases, but you won’t get any points for those because your co-worker wrote that code. You are failing four test cases. If you get those test cases to pass, you get full points for this lab and keep your job at ShadyCorp. If you mess any test cases that you were passing before, you will lose one point. The boss assures that the code is well sectioned, so you won’t have to even look at the files that aren’t related to the test case.

The output of the file should be:

<first 5 lines>
<last 5 lines>
<the whole file><newline>

Where <newline> = '\n'. A line is defined as zero or more characters terminated by a newline character.

Problem 1: No Such File #

If the file does not exist, the program currently doesn’t work. Instead of crashing, exit with a status NO_FILE_RETURN_CODE found in secure_move.c

Problem 2: Address Space #

Due to the new meltdown and spectre vulnerabilities, your bosses are worried to no end about shadier corporations trying to get your data. There are some software patches available to detect against variations of meltdown, the ones against the variation of spectre are few and far between. The security gurus have found was of detecting spectre attacks and can now track attacks against processes. They are able to get the address and all other parameters of the affected area, but they need to know what region of memory was read. For instance, if a c library function was read, then no big deal. But if one of the file* structs was read, ShadyCorp’s shady dealings could be uncovered. As such, they want you to print out the following in descending order.

  • The address of main
  • The address of strdup
  • A string literal (e.g char *ptr = "abs")
  • A malloc’d array
  • Address of argc

Hint: Do you need to check the order every time? What do you know about process address spaces?

Entrypoint #

The driver program is in secure_move.c. There, we do some basic input validation, open a file, shred it, and print the output that your boss wants. I wonder where it could be going wrong…

Debugging Guide #

Read this to get started with debugging!

Manual Testing #

In the end, your boss was nice enough to give you some test cases. In files/, there are a few files that your boss will use to test the program with. One is files/blank.txt, which you can use to test blank input. Another is files/final.txt, which is full of secret business-y type stuff. In order to run a test case, try the following commands:

$ make reset # Make sure to do this before test cases
$ make
$ ./secure_move files/final.txt files/final_out.txt
$ diff files/final_out.txt files/final_sol.txt
$ # If diff has nothing to complain about you are good!
$ # You may want to make sure files/final.txt is overwritten though...

CS 241 Makefile #

All the assignments in this class will use a similar makefile.

Note: This is not a class about makefile programming, so you will not need to know the advanced parts of makefiles (pattern matching, expansion phases, etc). Still, it is important that you know a little bit about how they work for a future assignment.

Here is what a typical makefile will look like:

# directory to store object files
OBJS_DIR = .objs

# define the EXES

OBJS_SHELL=$(EXE_SHELL).o format.o

# set up compiler
CC = clang
WARNINGS = -Wall -Wextra -Werror -Wno-error=unused-parameter

# set up linker
LD = clang
LDFLAGS = -Llibs/ -lprovided

.PHONY: all
all: release

# build types
# run clean before building debug so that all of the release executables
# disappear
.PHONY: release
.PHONY: debug

release: $(EXES_STUDENT)
debug: clean $(EXES_STUDENT:%=%-debug)

# include dependencies
-include $(OBJS_DIR)/*.d

@mkdir -p $(OBJS_DIR)

# patterns to create objects
# keep the debug and release postfix for object files so that we can always
# separate them correctly
$(OBJS_DIR)/%-debug.o: %.c | $(OBJS_DIR)
$(CC) $(CFLAGS_DEBUG) $< -o $@

$(OBJS_DIR)/%-release.o: %.c | $(OBJS_DIR)
$(CC) $(CFLAGS_RELEASE) $< -o $@

# exes
$(EXE_SHELL)-debug: $(OBJS_SHELL:%.o=$(OBJS_DIR)/%-debug.o)
$(LD) $^ $(LDFLAGS) -o $@

$(EXE_SHELL): $(OBJS_SHELL:%.o=$(OBJS_DIR)/%-release.o)
$(LD) $^ $(LDFLAGS) -o $@

.PHONY: clean
rm -rf .objs $(EXES_STUDENT) $(EXES_STUDENT:%=%-debug)

This looks scary, but if you Google some makefile basics and carefully read the comments it should start to make sense. These are the things you will need to know, at the minimum:

  • Compile the assignment:
  • Clean up the assignment directory:
make clean
  • Compile a debug-able version of your code that you can use gdb on:
make debug
  • Compile a release version of your assignment that you test with:
make release

The Outline #

  • Log into your VM
  • Clone or Update your git repository on your VM
  • Fix the code using test cases you develop
    • Look through the code in the files!
    • Use printf’s!
    • Use valgrind!
    • Use GDB!
    • Run on the given files and see if the output is what you expect.
    • Problem 1: See why the file is not shredded
    • Problem 2: See why the program crashes on non-existent-file
    • Problem 3: Are there any memory errors or leaks (check valgrind?)
    • Problem 4: What does the address space look like?
  • git commit -a -m "My Submission" (commit your work to git).

Lab Attendance #

Part of your grade in this class relies on you attending labs. Towards the end of every lab, we will ask you to swipe out (swipe your i-card). You may only leave early if you show that you have finished the lab to your lab attendant or if the lab attendant calls time. If you are more than ten minutes late to class, then your lab attendant reserves the right to not swipe you out for the day. You may never swipe yourself out without your lab attendant’s consent. Any violation will result in a zero in lab attendance for the semester.

Due to seating limitations, you are required to go to the lab section you signed up for. If you wish to go to any other lab section, you may get permission from the TA of another section to go to their section, provided that either:

  • You will be working on your laptop in the room
  • There is seating available where registered students get priority.

You must email the TA of that lab section beforehand.

You can still get credit for attending a different section due to special or occasional circumstances by making arrangements with the graduate assistant (GA) at However, you must change your registered lab if you start regularly going to a different lab. Please contact Holly Bagwell in the academic office (SC 1210) to change your section without having to drop your enrollment.

We will never grant exemptions for lab attendance. If you have an interview, then you are just going to have to use your lab attendance drop. You also can not make up lab attendance. Be warned that forgetting to swipe out is not a valid excuse—your lab attendant is not allowed to vouch for your attendance.