Lucene search

HistoryOct 31, 2011 - 12:00 a.m.

ZDI-11-312 : Apple QuickTime Atom Hierarachy Argument Size Mismatch Remote Code Execution Vulnerability






ZDI-11-312 : Apple QuickTime Atom Hierarachy Argument Size Mismatch
Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
October 27, 2011


7.5, AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:P

– Affected Vendors:


– Affected Products:

Apple Quicktime

– Vulnerability Details:
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on
vulnerable installations of Apple QuickTime Player. User interaction is
required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a
malicious page or open a malicious file.

The specific flaw exists within how the application parses the atom
hierarchy within a QuickTime movie file. In a certain situation the
application will pass execution to another function for handling the
atom, however, will pass the incorrect number of arguments. Due to this,
a variable will be treated as a pointer. This can lead to code execution
under the context of the application.

– Vendor Response:

Apple has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details
can be found at:

– Disclosure Timeline:
2011-06-03 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
2011-10-27 - Coordinated public release of advisory

– Credit:
This vulnerability was discovered by:

  • Anonymous

– About the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI):
Established by TippingPoint, The Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) represents
a best-of-breed model for rewarding security researchers for responsibly
disclosing discovered vulnerabilities.

Researchers interested in getting paid for their security research
through the ZDI can find more information and sign-up at:

The ZDI is unique in how the acquired vulnerability information is
used. TippingPoint does not re-sell the vulnerability details or any
exploit code. Instead, upon notifying the affected product vendor,
TippingPoint provides its customers with zero day protection through
its intrusion prevention technology. Explicit details regarding the
specifics of the vulnerability are not exposed to any parties until
an official vendor patch is publicly available. Furthermore, with the
altruistic aim of helping to secure a broader user base, TippingPoint
provides this vulnerability information confidentially to security
vendors (including competitors) who have a vulnerability protection or
mitigation product.

Our vulnerability disclosure policy is available online at:

Follow the ZDI on Twitter: