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Category:   Application (Web Browser)  >   Opera Vendors:   Opera Software
Opera Browser HREF Tag Buffer Overflow Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1007962
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2003-0870   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Oct 20 2003
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network, User access via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 7.11, 7.20
Description:   A buffer overflow was reported in the Opera web browser. A remote user can create HTML containing certain HREF tags to trigger the overflow and execute arbitrary code.

@stake reported that HREF tags containing certain illegally escaped server names within the URL can trigger the buffer overflow. The overflow may occur when the HTML is rendered or when the browser is closed, the report said.

A demonstration exploit tag is of the following form:

<a href="file://server%%[many % characters]%%text" ></a>

The following notification timeline is provided:

09/29/2003 Opera contacted with details of issue
09/30/2003 Vendor responds that they have reproduced problem
10/15/2003 Vendor releases new version of program that includes a fix
10/20/2003 Advisory released

The original advisory is available at:

Impact:   A remote user can create HTML that will cause the target user's browser to crash or execute arbitrary code. The code will run with the privileges of the target user.
Solution:   The vendor has released a fixed version (7.21), available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), Windows (Any)
Underlying OS Comments:  Confirmed on Windows XP/2000 and GNU/Linux 2.4

Message History:   This archive entry has one or more follow-up message(s) listed below.
Nov 21 2003 (Gentoo Issues Fix) Re: Opera Browser HREF Tag Buffer Overflow Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code
Gentoo has issued a fix.

 Source Message Contents

[Original Message Not Available for Viewing]

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