Techniques are described for detecting corruption of buffer pointers passed between a local processor and a remote processor on a network device. For example, the first processor, which may be a memory controller, receives and stores packets within memory. A second processor, such as a host processor for the network device, is coupled to the first processor by a bus. The first processor communicates a memory pointer associated with an a given packet to the second processor for processing of the packet, and maintains a backup copy of the memory pointer. Upon receiving the memory pointer back from the second processor, the first processor compares at least a portion of the memory pointer received from the second processor with an equivalent portion of the copy of the memory pointer to determine whether the received memory pointer has been corrupted.