Talos Vulnerability Report


IBM Domino KeyView PDF Filter Stream Length Code Execution Vulnerability

June 8, 2016

Report ID



An integer overflow vulnerability present in the PDF filter of KeyView as used by Domino can lead to process crash and possible arbitrary code execution.

Tested Versions

  • KeyView 10.16 as used by IBM Domino 9.0.1

Product URLs



An improper check on Length parameter of a compressed PDF stream can result in an integer overflow leading to an unbounded memcpy call.

Shortened test case triggering the vulnerability can be summarized as follows:

47 0 obj
<<   /Filter/ASCIIHexDecode    /Length 2147483647/Root 41 0 R/Size 60/Type/XRef >>stream

In the above test case the length value is specified to be exactly 2147483647 or 0x7fffffff in hex, which is the biggest positive value of a 32bit integer. String value of length is converted into an integer by calling strtol function (base address of pdfsr.so being 0xB79BA000):

.text:B79F3343 mov     dword ptr [esp+0Ch], 0 ; group
.text:B79F334B mov     dword ptr [esp+8], 0Ah ; base
.text:B79F3353 mov     dword ptr [esp+4], 0 ; endptr
.text:B79F335B mov     edx, [ebp+var_948]
.text:B79F3361 mov     [esp], edx      ; nptr
.text:B79F3364 call    ___strtol_internal
.text:B79F3369 test    eax, eax
.text:B79F336B js      loc_B79F464A

If a string representing an integer supplied to strtol is equal to 2147483647 or bigger, strtol will return 0x7fffffff. The integer overflow happens later in the code, when the parser specifically checks if the destination buffer for faulting memcpy call is bug enough to hold the source buffer:

.text:B79F4314 mov     ecx, [ebp+n]	   ; n is the value returned by strtol
.text:B79F431A add     ecx, 1          ; here's where the integer overflow happens
.text:B79F431D mov     [ebp+var_920], ecx
.text:B79F4323 mov     edi, [ebp+var_93C]
.text:B79F4329 cmp     ecx, [edi+0Ch]  ; edi+0xC is size of the destination buffer, by default 0x2000
.text:B79F432C jl      short loc_B79F436C

An integer overflow happens above when 1 is added to the length value, the result being 0x80000000. A signed comparison is made with 0x2000 and the jump will be successful. Parser concludes that the destination buffer is big enough and proceeds to call memcpy with the original length value (0x7fffffff):

.text:B79F436C loc_B79F436C:
.text:B79F436C mov     edi, [ebp+n]
.text:B79F4372 mov     ecx, [ebp+var_93C]
.text:B79F4378 mov     [ecx+8], edi
.text:B79F437B mov     eax, [ecx+4]
.text:B79F437E mov     [esp+8], edi    ; n
.text:B79F4382 mov     edx, [ebp+src]  ; n gets set at B79F3371
.text:B79F4388 mov     [esp+4], edx    ; src
.text:B79F438C mov     [esp], eax      ; dest
.text:B79F438F call    _memcpy
.text:B79F4394 mov     ecx, [ebp+var_984]
.text:B79F439A cmp     dword ptr [ecx+11B0h], 0
.text:B79F43A1 jz      short loc_B79F

The unbounded memcpy call will result in a process crash when it hits invalid memory.

Detection of PDF files specifically crafted to trigger this vulnerability can be based on the abnormally large stream /Length value in the PDF file.

The vulnerability can be triggered with the supplied test case in the filter standalone KeyView binary shipped with IBM Domino, or by sending it as an attachment with an email to a Domino mail server.


Discovered by Aleksandar Nikolic of Cisco Talos.


2016-02-09 - Vendor Notification
2016-06-08 – Public Disclosure