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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   libexif Vendors:
libexif Integer Overflow in exif_data_load_data_entry() May Let Remote Users Crash the Application or Execute Arbitrary Code
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1018240
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2006-4168   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Jun 13 2007
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network, User access via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): prior to 0.6.16
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in libexif. A remote user can cause arbitrary code to be executed on the target user's system.

A remote user can create a specially crafted tagged image file that, when loaded by the target user or application, will trigger an integer overflow in the exif_data_load_data_entry() function and execute arbitrary code on the target system. The code will run with the privileges of the target user or application.

A tagged image file containing a large number of Exif components can trigger the overflow.

The vendor was notified on August 16, 2006.

Sean Larsson (iDefense Labs) discovered this vulnerability.

Impact:   A remote user can create a file that, when loaded by the target user, will execute arbitrary code on the target user's system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fixed version (0.6.16).
Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Boundary error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (Any)

Message History:   This archive entry has one or more follow-up message(s) listed below.
Jun 14 2007 (Red Hat Issues Fix) libexif Integer Overflow in exif_data_load_data_entry() May Let Remote Users Crash the Application or Execute Arbitrary Code
Red Hat has released a fix for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDefense Security Advisory 06.13.07: Multiple Vendor libexif Integer

Multiple Vendor libexif Integer Overflow Heap Corruption Vulnerability

iDefense Security Advisory 06.13.07
Jun 13, 2007


Exchangeable image file format (Exif) is an industry standard image
tagging technology used by many digital camera devices. libexif is an
open source library for handling the Exif format. More information can
be found at the URLs shown below.


Remote exploitation of a integer overflow vulnerability in libexif, as
included in various vendors' operating system distributions, could
allow attackers to crash the process or execute arbitrary code.

The problem exists while parsing a tagged image with a large number of
Exif components. Applications using this library are susceptible to a
heap overflow when an integer overflow is triggered in the
exif_data_load_data_entry function.


Exploitation requires that a targeted user process a malicious image
using one of several available tools that utilize libexif for Exif tag
parsing. These tools include, but are not limited to, several
applications included in the GNOME and KDE desktops.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in versions
0.6.13 through 0.6.15 of libexif.


iDefense is currently unaware of any workarounds for this issue.


The libexif maintainers have released version 0.6.16 of libexif to
address this vulnerability.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2006-4168 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


08/16/2006  Initial vendor notification
06/05/2007  Second vendor notification
06/11/2007  Initial vendor response
06/13/2007  Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by Sean Larsson (iDefense Labs).

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