Teaching integer security using simple visualizations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science


Integer errors can introduce significant vulnerabilities into C programs. We have developed a program analysis and visualization tool to help students understand integer representation and type conversions with the goal to help students avoid introducing these errors into the code they develop. The visualization is through the Integer Representation (IR) window within a larger system for analysis and visualization of security issues in C programs. The system is called the Visualization and Analysis for C Code Security (VACCS) system. In this paper, we describe our experience with teaching fundamental aspects of integer security in a junior-level systems programming course, the IR window, and an evaluation of the tool. Our results indicate that students found the tool to be useful and that it enhanced the course in which it was used.

Publisher's Statement

© 2019 Association for Computing Machinery. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1145/3304221.3319760

Publication Title

ITiCSE '19 Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education