CVE Vulnerabilities


Use of Externally-Controlled Format String

Published: Aug 06, 2009 | Modified: Aug 17, 2017
CVSS 3.x
CVSS 2.x
7.5 HIGH

Format string vulnerability in Login Window in Apple Mac OS X 10.4.11 and 10.5 before 10.5.8 allows attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (application crash) via format string specifiers in an application name.


The software uses a function that accepts a format string as an argument, but the format string originates from an external source.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Mac_os_x Apple 10.5.6 10.5.6
Mac_os_x Apple 10.4.11 10.4.11
Mac_os_x Apple 10.5 10.5
Mac_os_x Apple 10.5.7 10.5.7
Mac_os_x_server Apple 10.4.11 10.4.11
Mac_os_x_server Apple 10.5.5 10.5.5
Mac_os_x_server Apple 10.5.6 10.5.6
Mac_os_x_server Apple 10.5.7 10.5.7

Extended Description

When an attacker can modify an externally-controlled format string, this can lead to buffer overflows, denial of service, or data representation problems. It should be noted that in some circumstances, such as internationalization, the set of format strings is externally controlled by design. If the source of these format strings is trusted (e.g. only contained in library files that are only modifiable by the system administrator), then the external control might not itself pose a vulnerability.

Potential Mitigations