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As part of its 2004 Security Development Lifecycle, Microsoft introduced a family of "secure" functions, such as strcpy_s and strcat_s (along with many others); these functions ... Read more were later standardized with some minor changes, and are now part of C11 (Annex K) and ISO/IEC WDTR 24731. These functions perform runtime integrity checks of their arguments; if the checks fail, a user-specified "runtime-constraint handler" function is called. If the user has not specified such a function, the default behavior is implementation-defined. Microsoft's C runtime will abort the program when the constraints are violated. Some functions perform destructive operations before calling the runtime-constraint handler; for example, strcat_s sets the destination to the empty string, which can make it difficult to recover from error conditions or debug them. These functions attracted considerable criticism because initially they were implemented only on Windows, and at the same time warning messages started to be produced by Microsoft Visual C++, suggesting the programmers to use these functions instead of standard ones. This has been speculated by some to be a Microsoft's attempt to lock developers into its platform. Although open-source implementations of these functions are available, these functions are not present in common Unix C libraries.Read less
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