CVE Vulnerabilities

CVE-2019-18397

Buffer Copy without Checking Size of Input ('Classic Buffer Overflow')

Published: Nov 13, 2019 | Modified: Dec 18, 2019
CVSS 3.x
7.8
HIGH
Source:
NVD
CVSS:3.1/AV:L/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H
CVSS 2.x
6.8 MEDIUM
AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:P
RedHat/V2
RedHat/V3
7.8 IMPORTANT
CVSS:3.0/AV:L/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H
Ubuntu

A buffer overflow in the fribidi_get_par_embedding_levels_ex() function in lib/fribidi-bidi.c of GNU FriBidi through 1.0.7 allows an attacker to cause a denial of service or possibly execute arbitrary code by delivering crafted text content to a user, when this content is then rendered by an application that uses FriBidi for text layout calculations. Examples include any GNOME or GTK+ based application that uses Pango for text layout, as this internally uses FriBidi for bidirectional text layout. For example, the attacker can construct a crafted text file to be opened in GEdit, or a crafted IRC message to be viewed in HexChat.

Weakness

The program copies an input buffer to an output buffer without verifying that the size of the input buffer is less than the size of the output buffer, leading to a buffer overflow.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Fribidi Gnu 1.0.0 1.0.7
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 RedHat fribidi-0:1.0.2-1.el7_7.1 *
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 RedHat fribidi-0:1.0.4-7.el8_1 *
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 Update Services for SAP Solutions RedHat fribidi-0:1.0.4-6.el8_0.1 *
Fribidi Ubuntu disco *
Fribidi Ubuntu eoan *
Fribidi Ubuntu trusty *

Potential Mitigations

  • Use a language that does not allow this weakness to occur or provides constructs that make this weakness easier to avoid.

  • For example, many languages that perform their own memory management, such as Java and Perl, are not subject to buffer overflows. Other languages, such as Ada and C#, typically provide overflow protection, but the protection can be disabled by the programmer.

  • Be wary that a language’s interface to native code may still be subject to overflows, even if the language itself is theoretically safe.

  • Use a vetted library or framework that does not allow this weakness to occur or provides constructs that make this weakness easier to avoid.

  • Examples include the Safe C String Library (SafeStr) by Messier and Viega [REF-57], and the Strsafe.h library from Microsoft [REF-56]. These libraries provide safer versions of overflow-prone string-handling functions.

  • Run or compile the software using features or extensions that automatically provide a protection mechanism that mitigates or eliminates buffer overflows.

  • For example, certain compilers and extensions provide automatic buffer overflow detection mechanisms that are built into the compiled code. Examples include the Microsoft Visual Studio /GS flag, Fedora/Red Hat FORTIFY_SOURCE GCC flag, StackGuard, and ProPolice.

  • Consider adhering to the following rules when allocating and managing an application’s memory:

  • Assume all input is malicious. Use an “accept known good” input validation strategy, i.e., use a list of acceptable inputs that strictly conform to specifications. Reject any input that does not strictly conform to specifications, or transform it into something that does.

  • When performing input validation, consider all potentially relevant properties, including length, type of input, the full range of acceptable values, missing or extra inputs, syntax, consistency across related fields, and conformance to business rules. As an example of business rule logic, “boat” may be syntactically valid because it only contains alphanumeric characters, but it is not valid if the input is only expected to contain colors such as “red” or “blue.”

  • Do not rely exclusively on looking for malicious or malformed inputs. This is likely to miss at least one undesirable input, especially if the code’s environment changes. This can give attackers enough room to bypass the intended validation. However, denylists can be useful for detecting potential attacks or determining which inputs are so malformed that they should be rejected outright.

  • Run or compile the software using features or extensions that randomly arrange the positions of a program’s executable and libraries in memory. Because this makes the addresses unpredictable, it can prevent an attacker from reliably jumping to exploitable code.

  • Examples include Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) [REF-58] [REF-60] and Position-Independent Executables (PIE) [REF-64].

  • Run the code in a “jail” or similar sandbox environment that enforces strict boundaries between the process and the operating system. This may effectively restrict which files can be accessed in a particular directory or which commands can be executed by the software.

  • OS-level examples include the Unix chroot jail, AppArmor, and SELinux. In general, managed code may provide some protection. For example, java.io.FilePermission in the Java SecurityManager allows the software to specify restrictions on file operations.

  • This may not be a feasible solution, and it only limits the impact to the operating system; the rest of the application may still be subject to compromise.

  • Be careful to avoid CWE-243 and other weaknesses related to jails.

References