[Full-Disclosure] iDEFENSE Security Advisory 01.13.05: Apple iTunes Playlist Parsing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

Date: 01/13/05

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    Apple iTunes Playlist Parsing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

    iDEFENSE Security Advisory 01.13.05:
    January 13, 2005


    Apple iTunes is a digital jukebox capable of playing a variety of sound
    file formats, sharing music and burning music CD's. More information
    about iTunes is available from:



    Remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in Apple Computer
    Inc.'s iTunes music player allows attackers to execute arbitrary code.

    The problem specifically exists when parsing playlist files that contain
    long URL file entries. Malicious playlist files can come with either the
    .m3u or .pls extension. Though their formats are different, the
    vulnerability in each is the same.

    An example malicious .pls file with a long URL:

        File1=http://[A x 3045]1234

    An example malicious .m3u file with a long URL:

        http://[A x 3045]1234

    In both cases '[A x 3045]' represents any string of 3,045 bytes in
    length. Opening either malicious playlist file on the Microsoft Windows
    platform will cause iTunes to crash with an access violation when
    attempting to execute instruction 0x34333231, which is the little-endian
    ASCII code representation of '1234'. An attacker can exploit this
    vulnerability to redirect the flow of control and eventually execute
    arbitrary code. While this example is specific to the Microsoft Windows
    platform, exploitation on the Apple Mac OS platform is also possible.


    Exploitation of the described vulnerability allows remote attackers to
    execute arbitrary code under the context of the user who started iTunes.
    Exploitation requires that an attacker convince a target user to open a
    malicious playlist file with a vulnerable version of iTunes.


    iTunes 4.7 as installed on the Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS
    platforms are affected. Earlier versions may also be susceptible.


    Do not open playlist files from untrusted sources. Inspect the contents
    of .m3u and .pls playlist files for long URL file names prior to opening
    them with iTunes.


    This vulnerability is addressed in iTunes 4.7.1.

    iTunes 4.7.1 may be obtained from the Software Update pane in System
    Preferences, or Apple's iTunes download site:



    The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
    names CAN-2005-0043 to these issues. This is a candidate for inclusion
    in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for
    security problems.


    12/17/2004 Initial vendor notification
    12/17/2004 Initial vendor response
    01/13/2004 Public disclosure


    Sean de Regge (seanderegge[at]hotmail.com) is credited with this

    Get paid for vulnerability research


    Copyright (c) 2004 iDEFENSE, Inc.

    Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
    electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
    written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
    part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
    email customerservice@idefense.com for permission.

    Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
    at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
    of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
    There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
    author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
    or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on,
    this information.

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