Talos Vulnerability Report


Circle with Disney Apid Photo Upload Denial of Service Vulnerability

October 31, 2017
CVE Number



An exploitable vulnerability exists in the user photo update functionality of Circle with Disney running firmware 2.0.1. A repeated set of specially crafted API calls can cause the device to corrupt essential memory, resulting in a bricked device. An attacker needs network connectivity to the device to trigger this vulnerability.

Tested Versions

Circle with Disney 2.0.1

Product URLs


CVSSv3 Score

7.5 - CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H


CWE-400: Uncontrolled Resource Consumption ('Resource Exhaustion')


The apid binary is a web server listening on the Disney Circle, that serves as the main API for user functionality. Through the apid server, all configurations and queries are made from the 'Circle Home' application for the administrator's phone. Naturally, the unimportant API calls are run without authentication, whilst the critical API calls require a specific token, one that is unique to each phone that has synced to the Circle with the administrator app. However there is one API call that behaves slightly different.

The '/api/UPDATE/users/user/photo' API call requires authentication as expected, however there is an extra action taken by the server in preparation for the photo upload, which is passed via HTTP POST params. Since the server needs to parse the POST parameters regardless of the photo, it allocates a new buffer to deal with the rest of the POST parameters. An example follows:

POST /api/UPDATE/users/user/photo HTTP/1.1
Connection: keep-alive
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
Accept: */*
User-Agent: python-requests/2.17.3
Content-Length: 92
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded


For the above example, it finds the first occurrence of 'photo=' (photo%3D) and then the first occurrence of “&” after that. Every character outside of those boundaries count towards the new allocation.

.text:00415144                 la      $a1, aApiUpdateUsers  # "/api/UPDATE/users/user/photo"
.text:00415148                 jal     strcmp
.text:0041514C                 sb      $zero, byte_499B98
.text:00415150                 bnez    $v0, loc_4154A8
.text:00415154                 lui     $s6, 0x43
.text:00415158                 lw      $v1, 0x21B0+arg_10($sp)
.text:0041515C                 nop
.text:00415160                 beqz    $v1, loc_4154A8
.text:00415164                 lui     $a1, 0x43
.text:00415168                 move    $a0, $v1         # haystack
.text:0041516C                 jal     strstr
.text:00415170                 la      $a1, aPhoto      # "photo="
.text:00415174                 beqz    $v0, loc_4154A4
.text:00415178                 move    $s6, $v0
.text:0041517C                 move    $a0, $v0         # s
.text:00415180                 jal     strchr
.text:00415184                 li      $a1, 0x26        # c
.text:00415188                 lw      $v1, 0x21B0+arg_10($sp)
.text:0041518C                 move    $s7, $v0
.text:00415190                 beqz    $v0, loc_415AA4
.text:00415194                 subu    $fp, $s6, $v1
.text:00415198                 sb      $zero, 0($v0)
.text:0041519C                 jal     strlen
.text:004151A0                 addiu   $a0, $v0, 1      # s
.text:004151A4                 sw      $v0, 0x21B0+var_30($sp)
.text:004151A8 loc_4151A8:                              # CODE XREF: api_parse:loc_415AA4#j
.text:004151A8                 lw      $v1, 0x21B0+var_30($sp)
.text:004151AC                 nop
.text:004151B0                 addu    $a0, $fp, $v1
.text:004151B4                 jal     malloc
.text:004151B8                 addiu   $a0, 1           # size

Thus, if an attacker sends POST parameters with an extremely large number of characters, the behavior of the Circle starts to get unreliable. As much as a descriptive and detailed explanation would be satisfying, it can only suffice to say that the device gets bricked, somewhat.

The LED will start blinking, and then device will reboot. The only ways back in are through ethernet ( or IPV6), if you happen to have credentials, or through the console port.

Regardless the Circle will be missing its /dev/sda flash drive, effectively rendering the device into a bare bones MIPS board with around 40 MB of space.


2017-08-02- Vendor Disclosure
2017-10-31 - Public Release


Discovered by Lilith Wyatt <(^_^)> of Cisco Talos.