TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

RealNetworks RealPlayer OpenURLInDefaultBrowser Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-11-122: April 12th, 2011


CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 11062. 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 exposes a method called OpenURLInDefaultBrowser() that can be accessed through RealPlayer's internal browser. When this method is called, it will open and execute the first parameter based on the operating system's default handler for the filetype. An attacker can reach RealPlayer's internal browser by utilizing a specially crafted .rnx file. This can be leveraged to execute arbitrary code under the context of the user invoking RealPlayer.

Vendor Response

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

Disclosure Timeline

    2011-02-17 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2011-04-12 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Peter Vreugdenhil ( http://vreugdenhilresearch.nl )
    Andrea Micalizzi aka rgod