Security Issues in Xpdf Make Waves

Nov 08, 2007

In the past, security bugs in the Xpdf PDF viewer have endangered Linux systems time and again, and projects that use Xpdf code are also affected.

Security researchers at Secunia have discovered three vulnerabilities in Xpdf 3.02. All three are located in the stream.cc file. The first bug which affects the "DCTStream::readProgressiveDataUnit()" function can lead to memory corruption on indexing an array. The other two bugs, one of which is in the "DCTStream::reset()" function and the other in "CCITTFaxStream::lookChar()", can lead to heap-based buffer overflows. In all three cases, a carefully crafted PDF file is required. If the attacker can trick a victim into opening the file, the attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code.

Secunia discovered the vulnerabilities in Xpdf 3.02 (with xpdf-3.02pl1.patch), however, other versions may also be affected. As many projects, such as Kpdf, Koffice, Cups and Poppler rely on source code by Xpdf, these projects are also affected, as Secunia has proved.

The developers of Xpdf have now released a patch to remove the vulnerabilities. Users who prefer not to build the application from scratch are advised to avoid PDFs from untrusted sources until their distributor releases a new package.

Related content

  • Security holes in many PDF components

    A bug in the Xpdf 3.02 source code can cause the PDF viewer to crash. Programs that use Xpdf code are affected.

  • Security Bugs in Kernel and Rsync

    Security researchers at Secunia have reported two security bugs in the Rsync synchronization tool and one in the current Linux kernel.

  • SQL Queries Make Staroffice Vulnerable

    Security researchers Secunia have discovered a vulnerability in StarOffice that gives attackers the ability to execute arbitrary code. The developers of the free counterpart, OpenOffice, removed the problem last week.

  • PDF Readers

    The creator of the PDF format, Adobe, has released Adobe Reader 8.1. Does the proprietary display program offer more than free software alternatives Xpdf and Evince?

  • Vulnerability in GNU "tar"

    Linux distributor Red Hat has discovered a vulnerability in the GNU "tar" program that could allow attackers to overwrite files.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More

News