Bug 1642201 (CVE-2018-16839) - CVE-2018-16839 curl: Integer overflow leading to heap-based buffer overflow in Curl_sasl_create_plain_message()
Summary: CVE-2018-16839 curl: Integer overflow leading to heap-based buffer overflow i...
Alias: CVE-2018-16839
Product: Security Response
Classification: Other
Component: vulnerability
Version: unspecified
Hardware: All
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Red Hat Product Security
QA Contact:
Depends On: 1644552 1644553 1644554 1652520
Blocks: 1642204
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2018-10-24 01:44 UTC by Sam Fowler
Modified: 2021-12-10 18:02 UTC (History)
29 users (show)

Fixed In Version: curl 7.62.0
Doc Type: If docs needed, set a value
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2021-10-25 09:51:32 UTC

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Description Sam Fowler 2018-10-24 01:44:16 UTC
Curl versions 7.33.0 to 7.61.1 are vulnerable to a buffer overrun in the SASL authentication code.

The internal function `Curl_auth_create_plain_message` fails to correctly
verify that the passed in lengths for name and password aren't too long, then
calculates a buffer size to allocate.

On systems with a 32 bit `size_t`, the math to calculate the buffer size
triggers an integer overflow when the user name length exceeds 2GB (2^31
bytes). This integer overflow usually causes a very small buffer to actually
get allocated instead of the intended very huge one, making the use of that
buffer end up in a heap buffer overflow.

Comment 1 Sam Fowler 2018-10-24 01:44:33 UTC

Name: the Curl project
Upstream: Harry Sintonen

Comment 3 Sam Fowler 2018-10-31 07:00:53 UTC
Created curl tracking bugs for this issue:

Affects: fedora-all [bug 1644552]

Created mingw-curl tracking bugs for this issue:

Affects: epel-7 [bug 1644553]

Comment 5 Tomas Hoger 2018-11-15 21:23:48 UTC
As noted above, this problem was introduced in Curl version 7.33.0 via the following commit:


Prior to that commit, the username and password lengths were limited to  MAX_CURL_USER_LENGTH or MAX_CURL_PASSWORD_LENGTH, i.e. to 256 characters.

This did not affect curl packages in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and earlier, which are based on upstream Curl versions prior to 7.33.0.

Comment 6 Tomas Hoger 2018-11-22 09:40:56 UTC
To trigger this overflow, user name and password with total length greater than SIZE_T_MAX/2 must be provided - for example user name with length right below SIZE_T_MAX and short password.  The problem is not inherently 32 bit, but providing inputs of sufficient size on 64 bit platforms is most likely outside of what computers today can do.

Also note that it does not seem to be possible to trigger this flaw on 32 bit platforms either, as multiple copies of user name and password are made in memory when using standard libcurl APIs, so an out-of-memory error would be hit before the problematic code in the Curl_auth_create_plain_message() function can be reached.  Quoting the notes I added to the upstream commit:


I'm also wondering if any PoC was provided for this, or a hint on a path to trigger this issue? To trigger the overflow, this requires input that is longer than SIZE_T_MAX/2 (user name at or slightly below SIZE_T_MAX/2, and few bytes for password). The user name and password passed to Curl_auth_create_plain_message comes form conndata struct. Setting them there seems to be set_login()'s job. However, set_login() copies / strdups both of them, so at the end of that function user name and password needs to be in memory in two copies, which is not possible if single copy requires more than SIZE_T_MAX/2 of space. Also what's passed to set_login() already is a copy of data also stored elsewhere in the memory (with copy created in parseurlandfillconn() or override_login()).

So it does not seem triggerable when using libcurl APIs.

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