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Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 17:12:00 +0100
From: Advisories Toucan-System <>
Subject: TSSA-2010-01 Ghostscript library Ins_MINDEX() integer overflow and
 heap corruption

*           Ghostscript library Ins_MINDEX() off by one,        *
*               integer overflow and heapcorruption                  *

--[ Vulnerability Summary:

Date Published: 31/08/2010
Last Update: 31/08/2010
Advisory ID: TSSA-2010-01
CVE Name: CVE-2009-3743
Title: Ghostscript library Ins_MINDEX() integer overflow and heap corruption
Class: Heap Corruption
Remotely Exploitable: Yes
Locally Exploitable: No
Impact: Remote Denial of Service
Advisory URL:

--[ Synopsis:

    An off by one in the library shipped with Ghostscript in
    versions <= 8.70 generates an integer overflow, which in turn
    produces a heap corruption, resulting in a (remote) Denial of Service
    (crash) in several applications using this library when processing a
    specially crafted font.
    This vulnerability cannot be exploited to execute arbitrary code under
    GNU/Linux x86, to the best of our knowledge. Other targets, in
    particular Windows have not been tested and may or may not allow
    execution of arbitrary code.

--[ Vulnerability details:

memove() is defined in string.h and has the following prototype:

    void *memmove(void *dest, const void *src, size_t n);

It is worth noticing that size_t is a signed integer.

In ghostscript-8.70.dfsg.1/base/ttinterp.c we can find the following code

/* MINDEX[]  : move indexed element        */
/* CodeRange : $26                         */

  static void  Ins_MINDEX( INS_ARG )
    Long  L, K;                    [0]

    L = args[0];                [1]

    if ( L<0 || L > CUR.args )            [2]
      CUR.error = TT_Err_Invalid_Reference;

    K = CUR.stack[CUR.args - L];        [3]

    memmove( (&CUR.stack[CUR.args - L    ]),    [4]
              (&CUR.stack[CUR.args - L + 1]),
              (L - 1) * sizeof ( Long ) );

    CUR.stack[ CUR.args-1 ] = K;

[0] L is actually an unsigned long on x86.
[1] L is user controled.
[2] what if L is null then ?
[3] will work fine with L null...
[4] if L was null, then the sized passed to memmove is casted from an
unsigned long to a signed integer (size_t) worthing
111111111111111111111111111111 in binary, or 0x3fffffff.

Let's now consider the third argument passed to memmove in [4]. This
value is used as a counter in register ecx, resulting in the copy of a very
large chunk of memory (0x3fffffff ~= 1Gb). At this time, the destination being
somewhere in the heap, the appliation will eventually fill the heap segment
with (unexpected) data, and the copy will fail when trying to write to the
first non mapped address after the heap in the address space, generating a
segmentation fault.

Experimentally, reaching this codepath has shown to be possible.
The values of the registers (in particular ecx and edi) at crash time are
coherent with our expectations and the explaination above :

Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
     eax:FFFFFFFC ebx:405B6FF4  ecx:3FF85061  edx:0807C844
     esi:0826A000 edi:08269FFC  esp:BFFFDD18  ebp:BFFFDD58     eip:408EFA83
     cs:0073  ds:007B  es:007B  fs:0000  gs:0033  ss:007B    o d I t s z
A P c
BFFFDD48 : E0 13 F9 FF  F4 6F 5B 40 - 44 C8 07 08  00 00 00 00
BFFFDD38 : 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 - 01 00 00 00  0D 00 00 00
BFFFDD28 : FC FF FF FF  AE 42 0F 40 - 44 C8 07 08  34 CA 07 08
BFFFDD18 : 26 00 00 00  09 69 0F 40 - 84 E1 07 08  88 E1 07 08
[007B:0826A000]---------------------------------------------------------[ data]
<memmove+35>:    rep movs DWORD PTR es:[edi],DWORD PTR ds:[esi]

Arbitrary code execution would require to corrupt the heap with a bit more than
1Gb of copied data without writting to invalid memory. Having the heap
allocate so much data is not belived to be possible in the current situation
under x86 GNU/linux.

--[ Vulnerable applications:

    Vulnerable applications include at least the following applications,
who are linked with : gs, ghostscript, lpdomatic,foomatic-rip,
and directomatic.

endrazine@...ckbox:~/gs/ghostscript-8.70.dfsg.1$ ldd /bin/* /sbin/* \
/usr/sbin/* /usr/local/bin/* \
/usr/local/sbin/* /usr/bin/* 2>/dev/null |grep "\|:"|grep
"libgs" -B 1
/usr/sbin/lpdomatic: => /usr/lib/ (0xb7785000)
/usr/bin/directomatic: => /usr/lib/ (0xb7785000)
/usr/bin/foomatic-rip: => /usr/lib/ (0xb7785000)
/usr/bin/ghostscript: => /usr/lib/ (0xb7785000)
/usr/bin/gs: => /usr/lib/ (0xb7785000)

    Third party applications linking to this library may also be vulnerable.

--[ Patch:

    This off by one can be mitigated by applying the following patch in
    ghostscript-8.70.dfsg.1/base/ttinterp.c :

-    if ( L<0 || L > CUR.args )
+    if ( L<=0 || L > CUR.args )

    The patch that has actually been merged to Ghostscript is strictly

--[ Disclosure timeline:

* 19/10/2009: Contact Vendor.
* 19/10/2009: Vendor replies to our mail asking for details.
* 26/10/2009: Recontact vendor, ask for a valid pgp key.
* 05/11/2009: Recontact vendor who failed at providing a valid pgp key.
* 15/11/2009: Receive a valid pgp key from vendor. Provide details,
              including two PoCs to the Vendor.
* 16/12/2009: Recontact the vendor who doesn't get back to us.
* 05/01/2010: Vendor asks for more details including a complete bug analysis
              and patches.
* 06/01/2010: Provide full analysis and patches to the vendor.
* 06/01/2010: Vendor claims to have silently patched the vulnerability in
              their development branch.
* 01/03/2010: Ping vendor, who remains silent...
* 22/03/2010: Ping vendor, who remains silent...
* 20/07/2010: Inform the CERT about the vulnearbility.
* 20/07/2010: Recontact CERT about this vulnerability.
* 03/08/2010: CERT gets back to us asking for details.
* 09/08/2010: Send available information to the CERT.
* 13/08/2010: The CERT compares our patch and the applied patch in addition
              to the material we provided and concludes the vendor actually
              did fix the vulnerability as we suggested, but silently, denying
              us any kind of credit.
* 14/08/2010: The CERT assigns CVE number CVE-2009-3743 to this vulnerability.
* 25/11/2010: Public disclosure.

Note: The vendor claims to follow a bounty program for coders fixing bugs
      in their software. From our experience, they do not practice such a
      thing but silently patch reported bugs instead. We hope this was
      merely an exception.

--[ Credits:
    This vulnerability was discovered by Jonathan Brossard from Toucan System.

--[ About Toucan System:

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