TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

Apple Safari WebKit PCRE Handling Integer Overflow Vulnerability

ZDI-08-022: April 16th, 2008


Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 6031. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Apple Safari. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page.

The specific flaw exists in the regular expression compiler (JavaScriptCore/pcre/pcre_compile.cpp) in WebKit. When nesting regular expressions with large repetitions, a heap overflow occurs resulting in a condition allowing the execution of arbitrary code.

Vendor Response

Apple has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at:

Disclosure Timeline

    2008-03-27 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2008-04-16 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Charlie Miller, Jake Honoroff and Mark Daniel