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Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2017 14:22:51 +0100
From: Tobias Stoeckmann <>
Subject: CVE Request: libXpm < 3.5.12 heap overflow

An out of boundary write has been found in libXpm < 3.5.12 which can be
exploited by an attacker through maliciously crafted XPM files.

For this vulnerability to step in, a program must explicitly request
to also parse XPM extensions while reading files. The motif toolkit and
xdm are two among some programs that set the flag (XpmReturnExtensions).
It can only be exploited on 64 bit systems.

The affected code is prone to two 32 bit integer overflows while parsing
extensions: the amount of extensions and their concatenated length. The
fact that two such overflows exist makes it possible to have full
control of the memory management. The attacker can choose:

- how much heap space is allocated
- how many bytes will overflow
- the content of the bytes that overflow

Due to the integrated gzip compression in XPM files, the file can be
as small as 4 MB to trigger this issue, and doesn't need to be larger
than 8 MB for a fully arbitrary attack.

I have attached two files: poc.c is a vulnerable program that uses
libXpm to parse an XPM file, including its extensions. The second file
is a maliciously crafted XPM file, which is gzip-compressed thrice to
reduce its size to be friendlier for e-mail transmissions. You have to
gunzip it twice, which increases its size back to 4 MB. If used with a
vulnerable version, the program will trigger a segmentation fault.

It is recommend to update to the released libXpm version 3.5.12.

The commit that fixes the issue can be found here:

View attachment "poc.c" of type "text/plain" (586 bytes)

Download attachment "poc.xpm.gz.gz.gz" of type "application/x-gunzip" (1058 bytes)

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