CVE Vulnerabilities


Use After Free

Published: May 26, 2023 | Modified: Oct 20, 2023
CVSS 3.x
CVSS 2.x

A use after free vulnerability exists in curl <v8.1.0 in the way libcurl offers a feature to verify an SSH servers public key using a SHA 256 hash. When this check fails, libcurl would free the memory for the fingerprint before it returns an error message containing the (now freed) hash. This flaw risks inserting sensitive heap-based data into the error message that might be shown to users or otherwise get leaked and revealed.


Referencing memory after it has been freed can cause a program to crash, use unexpected values, or execute code.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Curl Haxx * 8.1.0 (excluding)
JBoss Core Services for RHEL 8 RedHat jbcs-httpd24-curl-0:8.2.1-1.el8jbcs *
JBoss Core Services on RHEL 7 RedHat jbcs-httpd24-curl-0:8.2.1-1.el7jbcs *
Red Hat JBoss Core Services 1 RedHat curl *
Curl Ubuntu trusty *
Curl Ubuntu upstream *
Curl Ubuntu xenial *

Extended Description

The use of previously-freed memory can have any number of adverse consequences, ranging from the corruption of valid data to the execution of arbitrary code, depending on the instantiation and timing of the flaw. The simplest way data corruption may occur involves the system’s reuse of the freed memory. Use-after-free errors have two common and sometimes overlapping causes:

In this scenario, the memory in question is allocated to another pointer validly at some point after it has been freed. The original pointer to the freed memory is used again and points to somewhere within the new allocation. As the data is changed, it corrupts the validly used memory; this induces undefined behavior in the process. If the newly allocated data happens to hold a class, in C++ for example, various function pointers may be scattered within the heap data. If one of these function pointers is overwritten with an address to valid shellcode, execution of arbitrary code can be achieved.

Potential Mitigations