An adversary includes formatting characters in a string input field on the target application. Most applications assume that users will provide static text and may respond unpredictably to the presence of formatting character. For example, in certain functions of the C programming languages such as printf, the formatting character %s will print the contents of a memory location expecting this location to identify a string and the formatting character %n prints the number of DWORD written in the memory. An adversary can use this to read or write to memory locations or files, or simply to manipulate the value of the resulting text in unexpected ways. Reading or writing memory may result in program crashes and writing memory could result in the execution of arbitrary code if the adversary can write to the program stack.

https://capec.mitre.org/data/definitions/135.html

Related CWE definitions

The product receives input or data, but it does not validate or incorrectly validates that the input has the properties that are required to process the data safely and correctly.
The product constructs all or part of a command, data structure, or record using externally-influenced input from an upstream component, but it does not neutralize or incorrectly neutralizes special elements that could modify how it is parsed or interpreted when it is sent to a downstream component.
The product uses a function that accepts a format string as an argument, but the format string originates from an external source.
Please note that CAPEC definitions are provided as a quick reference only. Visit http://capec.mitre.org/ for a complete list of CAPEC entries and more information.
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