TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

RealNetworks RealPlayer RealPix Server Header Parsing Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-10-282: 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 10717. 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 file.

The specific flaw exists within RealPlayer's parsing of RealPix files. If such a file contains an image tag pointing to a remote server, the player will attempt to fetch the remote file. When parsing the response from the web server, the process blindly copies the contents of the Server header into a fixed length heap buffer. If an attacker provides a large enough string, critical pointers can be overwritten allowing for arbitrary code execution under the context of the user running the player.

Vendor Response

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

Disclosure Timeline

    2010-09-24 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2010-12-10 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    AbdulAziz Hariri