Re: Advice On FireFox Bug

From: Michal Zalewski (
Date: 08/01/05

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    Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 19:59:42 +0200 (CEST)
    To: John Cobb <>

    On Sat, 30 Jul 2005, John Cobb wrote:

    > After a bit of playing I found a bug with the latest version of FireFox
    > which seems to work on Win2K & WinXP /.../ but since im not a
    > coder/reverse enigneerer it's a bit difficult to understand what's
    > causing the problem.


    If you manually created a malicious input file, you should be well aware
    what causes the crash; I take it you took an approach more similar to my
    'mangleme' experiment (see BUGTRAQ archives) - if so, you'd have a file
    with plenty of broken HTML tags, and would be tasked with finding which
    one, exactly, causes the problem.

    You're probably looking the wrong way - many problems occur after initial
    parsing and splitting of tags, and so, a step-by-step HTML parser
    debugging is probably not going to help a whole lot.

    Chances are the problem is caused by a single tag. The easiest way to find
    it is to split the file in two parts - and see which one, if any, crashes
    the browser. If you get a crash, continue this procedure - in just a
    couple of steps, you should go down to a file that can be easily examined

    If, at some point, you end up with two halves, neither of them causing a
    crash, try uneven ratios, or remove a portion from the middle of the file,
    leaving a block at the beginning and near the end intact. Also pay
    attention to the balance of '>' and '"'.

    Also, don't be afraid to read the debugger output on crash, even if you do
    not know the product and are not too comfortable with assembly - crash
    location, along with stack backtrace and register contents, should give
    you some hints as to where the crash occured, and what data ended up where
    it does not belong.

    > (This bug is 0day. If you work for a nice rich security company and want
    > to purchase this of me, email me: :) )

    Oh, that's not nice.


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