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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:29:20 +0000
From: "Agostino Sarubbo" <>
To: "" <>
Subject: libpcre: heap-based bufffer overflow in regexflip8_or_16 (pcretest.c)

libpcre is a perl-compatible regular expression library.

A fuzz on libpcre1 through the pcretest utility revealed an heap overflow in the utility itself. Will follow a feedback from upstream.

I am not going to do anything about this one. (a) It is concerned with a feature of pcretest that has been dropped from pcre2test, and (b) the input contains binary zeros, which are not supported in 
pcretest input. This is documented for pcre2test but not, I see for pcretest. I have added a paragraph to the documentation.

However, it does not cost much for me inform the community that this bug exists.
In any case, if you have a web application that calls directly the pcretest utility to parse untrusted data, then you are affected.
Also, it is important share the details because some distros/packagers may want to patch this issue instead of follow the upstream’s way.

The complete ASan output:

# pcretest -16 -d $FILE
==30352==ERROR: AddressSanitizer: heap-buffer-overflow on address 0x60b00000b000 at pc 0x00000053cef0 bp 0x7ffd02dccb90 sp 0x7ffd02dccb88
READ of size 2 at 0x60b00000b000 thread T0
    #0 0x53ceef in regexflip8_or_16 /tmp/portage/dev-libs/libpcre-8.40/work/pcre-8.40/pcretest.c:2552:24
    #1 0x53ceef in regexflip /tmp/portage/dev-libs/libpcre-8.40/work/pcre-8.40/pcretest.c:2792
    #2 0x53ceef in main /tmp/portage/dev-libs/libpcre-8.40/work/pcre-8.40/pcretest.c:4425
    #3 0x7fb6693d678f in __libc_start_main /tmp/portage/sys-libs/glibc-2.23-r3/work/glibc-2.23/csu/../csu/libc-start.c:289
    #4 0x41b438 in _init (/usr/bin/pcretest+0x41b438)

0x60b00000b000 is located 0 bytes to the right of 112-byte region [0x60b00000af90,0x60b00000b000)
allocated by thread T0 here:
    #0 0x4d41f8 in malloc /tmp/portage/sys-devel/llvm-3.9.1-r1/work/llvm-3.9.1.src/projects/compiler-rt/lib/asan/
    #1 0x53e883 in new_malloc /tmp/portage/dev-libs/libpcre-8.40/work/pcre-8.40/pcretest.c:2372:15
    #2 0x7fb66a9473a1 in pcre16_compile2 /tmp/portage/dev-libs/libpcre-8.40/work/pcre-8.40/pcre_compile.c:9393:19
    #3 0x5335d9 in main /tmp/portage/dev-libs/libpcre-8.40/work/pcre-8.40/pcretest.c:4034:5
    #4 0x7fb6693d678f in __libc_start_main /tmp/portage/sys-libs/glibc-2.23-r3/work/glibc-2.23/csu/../csu/libc-start.c:289

SUMMARY: AddressSanitizer: heap-buffer-overflow /tmp/portage/dev-libs/libpcre-8.40/work/pcre-8.40/pcretest.c:2552:24 in regexflip8_or_16

Affected version:

Commit fix:

Fixed version:

This bug was discovered by Agostino Sarubbo of Gentoo.


2017-02-22: bug discovered and reported to upstream
2017-03-20: blog post about the issue

This bug was found with American Fuzzy Lop.


Agostino Sarubbo
Gentoo Linux Developer

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