TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

RealNetworks RealPlayer RTSP GIF Parsing Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-10-271: December 10th, 2010


CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 8308. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of RealNetworks RealPlayer. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious media file.

The specific flaw exists in the parsing of GIF87a files over the streaming protocol RTSP. When specifying a large Screen Width size in the Screen Descriptor header a calculation on the destination heap chunks size is improperly checked for overflow. This leads to a smaller buffer being allocated and subsequently a heap overflow when processing the received data. Exploitation of this vulnerability can lead to system compromise under the credentials of the currently logged in user.

Vendor Response

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

Disclosure Timeline

    2009-06-25 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2010-12-10 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by: