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January 14, 2014

Flash Player Unloading Vulnerability III

This is the third article in this series that I didn't expect to write but it turns out the fix for CVE-2013-5332 insufficiently addresses the issue around the dialog boxes. Adobe had issued a fix that prevents the testcase I provided them from crashing the plugin but it's still possible to reach the bug just by adding an additional step to that testcase. I talked to Adobe about this.

Now the crash state is different to the crash state previously seen but in both cases the instruction dereferences freed memory. The vulnerability enables the attacker to divert the execution flow via the dispatch table that can be constructed due to a use-after-free issue.

I'm using Application Verifier and GFlags tool to make the vulnerability easy to see, and I'm also doing this because I observed that the application didn't crash at certain times. It could have happened because an object was allocated to the freed memory in a way to contain a valid function pointer. So rather than dereferencing freed memory the wrong function was called by the dispatcher and the execution completed without access violation.

Anyway here is the configuration. I configured GFlags for Internet Explorer 11 like below.

Configured Application Verifier, too.

In Windbg, I set debug of child process so when to open iexplore.exe from the disk I'm able to debug both broker and renderer processes. In the beginning of the article I mentioned that an additional step is required to the testcase in order to trigger the bug. It is to visit a web page that contains a Flash object which simply is to exercise the Flash plugin. After that, we can load the testcase to trigger the dialog box seen below.

At this point we can see many problems reported by Application Verifier. Here are two.
VERIFIER STOP 00000202: pid 0xBE0: Freeing heap block containing an active critical section.

4C3D6FE0 : Critical section address.
00DEF2FC : Critical section initialization stack trace.
4C3D6FE0 : Heap block address.
0000001C : Heap block size.

VERIFIER STOP 00000350: pid 0xBE0: Unloading DLL that allocated TLS index that was not freed.

004BABBA : TLS index
6759965F : Address of the code that allocated this TLS index.
4B916FCE : DLL name address. Use du to dump it.
67060000 : DLL base address.

After the close of dialog box the instruction at 6724f02b dereferences freed memory during processing the dispatch table. I highlighted the vulnerable path that can execute injected code.
(c44.e64): Access violation - code c0000005 (first chance)
First chance exceptions are reported before any exception handling.
This exception may be expected and handled.
*** ERROR: Symbol file could not be found. Defaulted to export symbols for C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flash32_11_9_900_170.ocx -
eax=0b611060 ebx=0b5fd0a0 ecx=7ffd7000 edx=6e1027a4 esi=0b5ef000 edi=0b612020
eip=6724f02b esp=067fc018 ebp=067fc028 iopl=0 nv up ei pl nz na pe nc
cs=001b ss=0023 ds=0023 es=0023 fs=003b gs=0000 efl=00210206
6724f02b 8b7024 mov esi,dword ptr [eax+24h] ds:0023:0b611084=????????
2:055> u
6724f02b 8b7024 mov esi,dword ptr [eax+24h] <--Read freed memory
6724f02e eb02 jmp Flash32_11_9_900_170!DllUnregisterServer+0x173e1 (6724f032)
6724f030 33f6 xor esi,esi
6724f032 85f6 test esi,esi
6724f034 7420 je Flash32_11_9_900_170!DllUnregisterServer+0x17405 (6724f056)

6724f036 8b06 mov eax,dword ptr [esi] <--Read attacker controlled memory
6724f038 8bce mov ecx,esi
6724f03a ff5004 call dword ptr [eax+4] <--Divert execution
 I recorded a video of the vulnerability using the latest Flash Player ( for Internet Explorer.
  This blog is written and maintained by Attila Suszter. Read in Feed Reader.