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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   PHP Vendors:   PHP Group
PHP Infinite Loops in getimagesize() Lets Users Deny Service
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1013619
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2005-0524, CVE-2005-0525   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Apr 1 2005
Impact:   Denial of service via local system, Denial of service via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): prior to 5.0.4
Description:   iDEFENSE reported a vulnerability in PHP in getimagesize(). A user can cause denial of service conditions.

A user can create a specially crafted image file that, when processed by getimagesize(), will cause the php_handle_iff() function in 'ext/standard/image.c' to enter an infinite loop [CVE: CVE-2005-0524]. A file with the 'size' value set to '-8' can trigger the vulnerability.

A user can create a JPEG file with specially crafted file length field in the header to trigger an infinite loop in php_handle_jpeg() [CVE: CVE-2005-0525].

If a remote user can supply an image to the target system, then these vulnerabilities can be exploited by remote users.

The vendor was notified on February 23, 2005.

The original advisory is available at:

Impact:   A user can cause the PHP process on the target system to consume all available CPU resources.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fixed version (5.0.4), available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Input validation error, State error
Underlying OS:  Linux (Any), UNIX (Any), Windows (Any)

Message History:   This archive entry has one or more follow-up message(s) listed below.
May 5 2005 (Red Hat Issues Fix) PHP Infinite Loops in getimagesize() Lets Users Deny Service
Red Hat has released a fix.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDEFENSE Security Advisory 03.31.05: PHP getimagesize() Multiple

PHP getimagesize() Multiple Denial of Service Vulnerabilities

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 03.31.05
March 31, 2005


PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is
especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.
More information is available at:


Remote exploitation of multiple denial of service vulnerabilities in 
the PHP Group's PHP scripting language allows attackers to consume CPU 
resources. The vulnerable routines, php_handle_iff() and 
php_handle_jpeg(), are reachable from the PHP function getimagesize(), 
which is defined as follows:

    array getimagesize ( string filename [, array &imageinfo] )

The getimagesize() routine is used to determine the size and dimensions
of multiple image formats, including GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, etc.

ISSUE 1 - php_handle_iff() Denial of Service

Remote exploitation of a denial of service (DoS) condition in the PHP
Group's PHP scripting language allows attackers to consume CPU

The problem specifically exists within the function php_handle_iff()
defined in ext/standard/image.c. The vulnerability is demonstrated in
the following excerpt:

    static struct gfxinfo *php_handle_iff(php_stream * stream TSRMLS_DC)
            /* loop chunks to find BMHD chunk */
            do {
    [1]             if (php_stream_read(stream, a, 8) != 8) {
                            return NULL;
                    chunkId = php_ifd_get32s(a+0, 1);
    [2]             size    = php_ifd_get32s(a+4, 1);
                    if ((size & 1) == 1) {
                if (chunkId == 0x424d4844) { /* BMHD chunk */
            } else {
    [3]                 if (php_stream_seek(stream, size, SEEK_CUR)) {
                                return NULL;
            } while (1);

In the excerpt above, at line [1], 8 bytes are read from the user-
supplied file stream. At line [2], the variables 'chunkId' and 'size'
are set to user-supplied values from the file stream. If the variable
'size' is set to -8, then on line [3] the current position within the
file stream is moved back 8 bytes, resulting in an infinite loop. 

ISSUE 2 - php_handle_jpeg() Denial of Service 

Local exploitation of an input validation vulnerability in The PHP 
Group's PHP embedded scripting language allows attackers to consume CPU 
resources. The vulnerability specifically exists due to insufficient 
validation of JPEG image file headers in the php_handle_jpeg() 
function. The JPEG file header contains a file length field which may 
be manipulated to cause an infinate loop in the copying of file data to 
memory as shown below from ext/standard/image.c:

    static struct gfxinfo *
    php_handle_jpeg (php_stream * stream, pval *info TSRMLS_DC)
        struct gfxinfo *result = NULL;
        unsigned int marker = M_PSEUDO;
        unsigned short length, ff_read=1;
        for (;;) {
    [1]     marker = php_next_marker(stream, marker, 1, ff_read
            ff_read = 0;
            switch (marker) {
    [2]             php_skip_variable(stream TSRMLS_CC); 
        return result; /* perhaps image broken -> no info but size */
    static void php_skip_variable(php_stream * stream TSRMLS_DC)
    [3] off_t length = ((unsigned int)php_read2(stream TSRMLS_CC));
        length = length-2;
        if (length)
    [4]     php_stream_seek(stream, (long)length, SEEK_CUR);

The php_next_marker() call [1] reads the next byte in the stream to 
determine handling of the associated data. If given an invalid marker 
value, the case statement executes the default block which calls the 
php_skip_variable() function [2]. The php_read2() call [3] will return 
0 bytes if the file stream has reached its end, so the pointer math 
causes a length value of -2 in the php_stream_seek() call[4]. This 
results in an infinate loop as the stream now points to the last two 
bytes of the file when the pointer is returned to the for loop in 


Exploitation of either vulnerability could allow unauthenticated remote 
attackers to consume 100% CPU resources on vulnerable systems. 
Exploitation requires that an attacker supply a malicious image to the 
getimagesize() PHP routine. The getimagesize() routine is frequently 
used when handling user-supplied image uploads, which increases the 
feasibility of remote exploitation.


iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of these vulnerabilities in PHP
versions 4.2.2, 4.3.9, 4.3.10 and 5.0.3.


iDEFENSE is currently unaware of any workaround for this issue.


These vulnerabilities are addressed in PHP 5.0.4 which is available for
download at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
following names to these issues:

CAN-2005-0524 - php_handle_iff()
CAN-2005-0525 - php_handle_jpeg()

These are candidates for inclusion in the CVE list
(, which standardizes names for security problems.


02/23/2005      Initial vendor notification
02/23/2005      Initial vendor response
03/31/2005      Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of these issues 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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