explicit_bzero - Linux


explicit_bzero is a tool used to securely overwrite specific sections of memory with zero values. It is designed for overwriting sensitive data or ensuring that certain memory regions contain no usable information.


explicit_bzero [options] <memory-address> <length>


  • -h, –help: Display help and usage information.
  • -q, –quiet: Suppress output and only print error messages.
  • -v, –verbose: Enable verbose output, showing progress and details.
  • -s, –seed: Set a random seed for generating the zero-filling data. Default: 0.
  • -f, –force: Override memory permissions if necessary.


Securely overwriting a memory region:

explicit_bzero 0x12345678 100

Overwriting with a specific seed value:

explicit_bzero -s 42 0x12345678 100

Common Issues

  • Access violations: Ensure that the memory address and length specified are within valid bounds and that the process has appropriate memory permissions.
  • Zero-initialization: If a memory block needs to be initialized with zeroes instead of being overwritten, consider using safer initialization mechanisms provided by the programming language or runtime environment.


Combine with other tools for complex tasks:

echo "Sensitive data" | openssl aes-256-cbc -out data.enc -e
explicit_bzero data.enc

Related Commands

  • memset: C function for overwriting memory with a specific value.
  • shred: Utility for securely overwriting files and file systems.