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Category:   Application (Multimedia)  >   Adobe Flash Player Vendors:   Debon, Oliver
3rd Party Version of Flash Multimedia Plugin May Execute Arbitrary Code
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1000584
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   GENERIC-MAP-NOMATCH   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Jan 15 2001
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network

Description:   A 3rd party version of the Flash plugin developed by Olivier Debon contains a reported vulnerability. The vulnerability is a write overflow that could allow arbitrary code to be executed. The Macromedia Flash plugin is not affected.

To determine which version of Flash you are using, you can apparently use the URL "about:plugins" under Netscape and look for Olivier Debon's name. Even if compiled with the "NOSOUND" flag, you are still vulnerable. The port to Windows CE by Conduit Technologies is apparently not affected.

The defect resides in the file "" in the function "ParseDefineSound()" and relates to the DefineSound module.

A memcpy/Decompress call causes a write-overflow that could allow the execution of arbitrary code.

Impact:   Malicious code could be executed.
Solution:   No solution was available at the time of this entry.
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error
Underlying OS:  BeOS, Linux (Any), UNIX (FreeBSD), UNIX (HP/UX), UNIX (Solaris - SunOS)
Underlying OS Comments:  Windows CE port is not vulnerable.

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  Flash plugin write-overflow

Hello all,

I'm learning more and more about plugins.
I have recreated the write-overflow I found 6 months ago.

The affected plugins:
There are two primary sources for Flash plugins.
- Macromedia provides the official version.  They are NOT affected by this
  latest defect.
- Olivier Debon provides an unofficial version that has been ported to all
  operating systems not supported by Macromedia (and some that are
  supported by Macromedia).
  Systems affected include: Linux (those viewing Flash without the
  Macromedia plugin), FreeBSD, HP-UX, BeOS, Amiga, Solaris 2.5-2.8.
  The port to Windows CE by Conduit Technologies is not affected.

To determine which one you are using, use the URL "about:plugins" under Netscape.
If you see Olivier Debon's name, then you are vulnerable.
Even if you compiled it with the "NOSOUND" flag, you are still vulnerable.

Location of the defect:
The format of this tag:
  tag_14  length_of_tag  sound_id flags samples data

Sound_id is two bytes giving the sound object a reference ID.
Flags is one byte that determine things like sampling rate and stereo.
"Samples" are four bytes telling the number of samples in the recording.
(ID + Flags + Samples = 5 bytes.)
The remaining data contains the actual sound.
(Flags + Samples + Data = length of tag)

The defect:
File "", in function "ParseDefineSound()".

void CInputScript::ParseDefineSound()
  Sound     *sound;
  U32 tagid = (U32) GetWord();
  long       nbSamples;
  long       flags;
  char      *buffer;

  sound = new Sound(tagid);

  flags = GetByte();


  nbSamples = GetDWord();
  buffer = sound->setNbSamples(nbSamples);

  if (flags & soundIsADPCMCompressed) {
    Adpcm           *adpcm;
    adpcm = new Adpcm( &m_fileBuf[m_filePos] , flags & soundIsStereo );
    adpcm->Decompress((short *)buffer, nbSamples);
    delete adpcm;
  } else {
          memcpy(buffer, &m_fileBuf[m_filePos], m_tagLen-5);

The last memcpy/Decompress call causes a write-overflow when the
number of samples is less than the remaining amount of data in the file.

"buffer" is allocated in
char *  Sound::setNbSamples(long n) {
        long size;
        nbSamples = n;
        size = nbSamples * (stereo ? 2 : 1) * sampleSize;
        samples = new char[ size ];
        memset((char *)samples,0, size);
        return samples;

The "sampleSize" is either 1 or 2 (depends on the flags used).
The size of "buffer" is allocated to be "number of samples * sampleSize *
1 or 2 for stereo".
The memcpy in ParseDefineSound() copies all of the data into the allocated

So the defect:
I can define nbSamples (number of samples).
I define it to be much less than the number of data bytes.
  Should be:  ID + Flags + Samples = length of tag - Data.
  Overflow when:  ID + Flags + Samples < length of tag - Data

This is a write-overflow.  This is capable of running arbitrary code.
I believe this may be what I saw 6 months ago.

I have an example posted at:

Reporting history:
- Reported to Macromedia on Jan. 13, 2001.  A day later they identified
  it as Olivier's code and pointed out that they were not vulnerable.
  (They may read-overflow, crash the browser, or pin the CPU, but they are
  immune to this one.)  This is also how I learned that there were multiple
- My email to Olivier Debon on Jan. 14, 2001 bounced as undeliverable.
  Decided to post.
  (In addition, I know of literally dozens of people who are right now
  looking very closely at the Flash plugins.  It's best to post sooner
  than later.)



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