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Category:   Application (Multimedia)  >   RealOne (RealPlayer) Vendors:   RealNetworks
RealPlayer Buffer Overflow in Processing SMIL File Screen-Size Attribute Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1013343
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2005-0455   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Mar 1 2005
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network, User access via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): prior to
Description:   iDEFENSE reported a vulnerability in RealPlayer in the processing of SMIL files. A remote user can cause arbitrary code to be executed.

A remote user can create a specially crafted Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (smil) file to trigger a buffer overflow in the player's SMIL parser.

The vulnerability resides in 'datatype/smil/renderer/smil1/smlparse.cpp' in the processing of the screen size attribute. A valid SMIL file with the following type of line can trigger the flaw [where 'LONGSTRING' is more than 256 bytes]:

<text src="1024_768.en.txt" region="size" system-screen-size="LONGSTRINGX768">

The following Windows versions are affected:

RealPlayer 10.5 (, RealPlayer 10, RealOne Player v2 ( - 872), RealOne Player v2 ( - 840), RealOne Player v1, RealPlayer 8, and RealPlayer Enterprise.

The following Mac versions are affected: Mac RealPlayer 10 ( - 325) and Mac RealOne Player.

The following Linux versions are affected: Linux RealPlayer 10 and Helix Player.

The vendor was notified on January 14, 2005.

The original advisory is available at:

Impact:   A remote user can create a file that, when loaded by the target user, will execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the target users.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fixed version ( for Windows, for Mac), as well as updates for some previous versions. See the vendor's advisory for a patch matrix:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (macOS/OS X), Windows (Any)

Message History:   This archive entry has one or more follow-up message(s) listed below.
Mar 4 2005 (Red Hat Issues Fix) RealPlayer Buffer Overflow in Processing SMIL File Screen-Size Attribute Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code
Red Hat has released a fix.
Mar 4 2005 (Red Hat Issues Fix for Helix Player) RealPlayer Buffer Overflow in Processing SMIL File Screen-Size Attribute Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code
Red Hat has released a fix for Helix Player.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDEFENSE Security Advisory 03.01.05: RealNetworks RealPlayer .smil

RealNetworks RealPlayer .smil Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 03.01.05
March 1, 2005


RealPlayer is an application for playing various media formats,
developed by RealNetworks Inc. For more information, visit


Remote exploitation of a stack-based buffer overflow vulnerability in
the The Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (smil) file format
parser within various versions of RealNetworks Inc.'s RealPlayer could
allow attackers to execute arbitrary code.

The vulnerability specifically exists due to an unbounded string copying
operation. The vulnerable code is shown below:

CSmil1Parser::testAttributeFailed(SMIL1Node* pNode)
line 2878
     if(HXR_OK == rc)
            UINT32 ulScreenHeight = 0;
            UINT32 ulScreenWidth = 0;

            const char* pScreenSize = (const char*)pBuf->GetBuffer();
            // format is screen-height "X" screen-width
            char tmp[256]; /* Flawfinder: ignore */
            strcpy(tmp, pScreenSize); /* Flawfinder: ignore */

The pBuf object's datapointer (which is what GetBuffer uses internally)
is pointing at the screen-size attribute in the user-supplied smil file.
This allows a fixed stack buffer to be overwritten with user-supplied
data. An attacker could use this stack overwrite to manipulate a saved
return address or Structured Exception Handler, allowing for arbitrary
code execution.

In order to trigger this vulnerability, one would need an otherwise
valid .smil file with the following line added in an appropriate
section: <text src="1024_768.en.txt" region="size" system-screen-

Note that "LONGSTRING" should be more than 256 bytes in order to cause
stack corruption.


Exploitation allows for arbitrary code execution as the user who opened
the .smil file.

Exploitation requires an attacker to craft a malicious .smil and
convince a user to open it. An attacker could also force a web browser
to refresh and automatically load the .smil file from a normal web page
under the attacker's control. In default installations of RealPlayer
under Windows, Internet Explorer will not prompt the user for an action
when encountering a .smil file. It will open it without delay, thus
allowing a more effective method of exploitation.


iDEFENSE Labs has confirmed that Real Networks Inc.'s RealPlayer 10.5
( on Windows and RealPlayer 10 ( on Linux are

The vendor has reported that the following products are vulnerable on
the following platforms:

	RealPlayer 10.5 ( and below)
	RealPlayer 10
	RealOne Player V2
	RealOne Player V1
	RealPlayer 8
	RealPlayer Enterprise

	RealPlayer 10 ( and below)
	RealOne Player

	RealPlayer 10
	Helix Player


There are no known workarounds for this vulnerability. Although .smil
files can be disassociated from RealPlayer, it is still possible to
cause these files to load with RealPlayer using other methods. One such
method is loading the file via one of the many ActiveX Controls that
RealPlayer contains. Any effective workaround would prevent RealPlayer
from functioning.


A vendor advisory for this issue is available at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
names CAN-2005-0455 to these issues. This is a candidate for inclusion
in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


01/14/2005  Initial vendor notification
01/19/2005  Initial vendor response
03/01/2005  Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright (c) 2005 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 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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