32 - Integer Over / Underflow Example

Integer Over / Underflow

Note: Due to SafeMath being included in Solidity 0.8.x, the likelihood of you writing an integer under or overflow is extremely unlikely. However, a number of contracts still exist with this attack vector and it’s good to know about. But, again, the inclusion of SafeMath helps significantly protect against this attack vector.

This contract shows what an integer overflow vulnerability (SWC-101) looks like.

In this VulnerableContract the lockTime is manipulable by the currentInvestor. The maximum value for the lockTime is 4294967295 because it is declared type uint32 (and 2^32 = 4294967296). If the currentInvestor attempts to set the value above 4294967295, it will overflow and start counting back at 0.

pragma solidity ^0.5.0;
// Example Integer Overflow and Underflow
contract VulnerableContract {
    uint MINIMUM_INVESTMENT = 50 ether;
    uint32 INITIAL_LOCK_TIME = 2592000; // 30 days in seconds
    address payable currentInvestor;
    uint investmentTimestamp;
    uint32 public lockTime = INITIAL_LOCK_TIME;
    function  increaseLockTime(uint32 _seconds) public {
        require(msg.sender == currentInvestor);
        lockTime += _seconds; // uint32 max is 4294967295 seconds. Attack passing 4292375295
    function invest() public payable {
        require(currentInvestor == address(0));
        require(msg.value >= MINIMUM_INVESTMENT);
        currentInvestor = msg.sender;
        investmentTimestamp = now;
    function withdrawWithProfit() public {
        require(msg.sender == currentInvestor);
        require(now - investmentTimestamp >= lockTime);
        uint profit = 1 ether + lockTime * 1 wei;
        currentInvestor.transfer(MINIMUM_INVESTMENT + profit);
        currentInvestor = address(0);
        lockTime = INITIAL_LOCK_TIME;
    function getBalance() view public returns(uint) {
        return address(this).balance;
    function() external payable {}

This type of attack is easily avoidable by using a SafeMath library such as this, that provides safety checks and will revert on error. The SafeMath library now ships with Solidity as of 0.8.x, so you do not have to include it if you’re working with a compiler on 0.8.x except in very specific cases mentioned here.