Talos Vulnerability Report


Oracle OIT IX SDK libvs_pdf Tj Operator Denial of Service Vulnerability

July 19, 2016
CVE Number



When parsing a specialy crafted PDF document, a NULL pointer dereference leading to a process termination. A pointer value from a memory structure initialized to zero is reference without check.


Oracle Outside In IX SDK 8.5.1




While executing a Tj operator on a piece of text contained in a stream, a memory structure probably containing charset mappings is referenced. No NULL pointer check is made and since the sturcture is zero initialized this can result in a crash.

The supplied testcase succesfully crashes the sample ixsample application supplied with the SDK.

In the supplied testcase, after the parser successfully decodes the /FlateDecode encoded stream data, it proceeds to execute the operators contained whitin. In this case the decoded stream data is :

'BT\r/F2 1 Tf\r12 0 0 12 90.001 708.017 Tm\r0 g\r/GS1 gs\r0 Tc\r0 Tw\r(Results)Tj\r/F3 1 Tf\r0 -1.04 TD\r0.0009 Tc\r0.0087 Tw\r(The tasters s'

The problematic code is triggered while Tj operator is being executed with it’s argument being string “Results”. Function OIT_cmdTj in libvs_pdf.so implements this operator.

Eventually the function sub_B74E190C is reached (libvs_pdf.so base address being 0xB74BF000) and the crash is triggered by the following basic block specifically:

.text:B74E1E20 mov     edx, [esp+0BCh+arg_4] 			
.text:B74E1E27 movzx   eax, byte ptr [edx+1F9Ch]
.text:B74E1E2E mov     edx, ebp						[1]
.text:B74E1E30 movzx   ecx, dl 						[2]
.text:B74E1E33 shl     eax, 5
.text:B74E1E36 mov     edi, [esp+0BCh+arg_4]
.text:B74E1E3D lea     edx, [eax+edi]
.text:B74E1E40 mov     eax, [edx+1F18h]				[3]
.text:B74E1E46 movzx   edi, byte ptr [eax+ecx]		[4]
.text:B74E1E4A mov     eax, edi
.text:B74E1E4C test    al, al
.text:B74E1E4E jz      loc_B7

At the time of the crash, initial value of ebp at [1] contains the first character of the Tj operator argument, in this case “R”, which ends up in ecx and is subsequently used as an offset into the memory structure at [4]. At [2], value of dl is zero extended into ecx limiting our control over it. At [3], final value of eax is set from offset 0x1f18 into edx. Value of eax can be NULL but isn’t checked resulting in a near NULL pointer dereference.

It is worth nothing that when the same memory address is accessed in other parts of the code, the pointer is properly checked beforehand.


2016-04-12 - Discovery
2016-07-19 – Public Disclosure


Discovered by Aleksandar Nikolic of Cisco Talos.