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Bug #27458 unserilizing doubles might crash
Submitted: 2004-03-02 09:19 UTC Modified: 2004-03-23 18:19 UTC
From: hoesh at dorsum dot hu Assigned:
Status: No Feedback Package: Reproducible crash
PHP Version: Irrelevant OS: WIN
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2004-03-02 09:19 UTC] hoesh at dorsum dot hu
When a double value stored within the session file, the web server might crash. It was a mystical problem for us. To solve this issue, there need some workaround at the VAR_UNSERIALIZER.RE source code:

"d:" (iv | nv | nvexp) ";"	{
	ZVAL_DOUBLE(*rval, atof(start + 2));
	return 1;

The problem is the difference in the implementation of the function 'atof'. While general C implementations looks ahead until a non digital character found, microsoft C tries to determine the string's length with a call to 'strlen'. This can couse the crash some times, when the accessible memory doesn't contain '\0'. The report about the memory dump is following in the 'Reproducible code' section. For a quick sight I placed the various implementations of the 'atof' function within the 'Expected result' block.

As we figured out, this issue comes up only when unserializing sessions, not zval represented strings, as those zvals are closed with '\0'.

Reproduce code:
Here is the report from Microsoft. They thought somthings wrong with PHP... :)

Call stack:
0c19e228 019240e2 1b0419d8 43e72508 03019af0 msvcrt!atof+0x25 (CONV: cdecl)
[atof.c @ 57]
WARNING: Stack unwind information not available. Following frames may be
0c19e2d4 03019b88 1b097000 0c19e3b4 43e72508 php4ts+0x940e2
03019c88 00000000 00010002 00000000 0005006d 0x3019b88

00 0c19e1f8 780167f9 msvcrt!strlen(void)+0x20 [intel\strlen.asm @ 78]
01 0c19e228 019240e2 msvcrt!atof(char * nptr = 0x1b0419d8

Expected result:

double __cdecl atof(
        REG1 const char *nptr

#ifdef _MT
        struct _flt fltstruct;      /* temporary structure */
#endif  /* _MT */

        /* scan past leading space/tab characters */

        while ( isspace((int)(unsigned char)*nptr) )

        /* let _fltin routine do the rest of the work */

#ifdef _MT
        return( *(double *)&(_fltin2( &fltstruct, nptr, strlen(nptr), 0, 0 )->
        dval) );
#else  /* _MT */
        return( *(double *)&(_fltin( nptr, strlen(nptr), 0, 0 )->dval) );
#endif  /* _MT */

-- GENERAL C IMPLEMENTATION (may differ at some point) --

register char *p;
	register c;
	double fl, flexp, exp5;
	double big = 72057594037927936.;  /*2^56*/
	double ldexp();
	int nd;
	register eexp, exp, neg, negexp, bexp;

	neg = 1;
	while((c = *p++) == ' ')
	if (c == '-')
		neg = -1;
	else if (c=='+')

	exp = 0;
	fl = 0;
	nd = 0;
	while ((c = *p++), isdigit(c)) {
		if (fl<big)
			fl = 10*fl + (c-'0');

	if (c == '.') {
		while ((c = *p++), isdigit(c)) {
			if (fl<big) {
				fl = 10*fl + (c-'0');

	negexp = 1;
	eexp = 0;
	if ((c == 'E') || (c == 'e')) {
		if ((c= *p++) == '+')
		else if (c=='-')
			negexp = -1;

		while ((c = *p++), isdigit(c)) {
			eexp = 10*eexp+(c-'0');
		if (negexp<0)
			eexp = -eexp;
		exp = exp + eexp;

	negexp = 1;
	if (exp<0) {
		negexp = -1;
		exp = -exp;

	if((nd+exp*negexp) < -LOGHUGE){
		fl = 0;
		exp = 0;
	flexp = 1;
	exp5 = 5;
	bexp = exp;
	for (;;) {
		if (exp&01)
			flexp *= exp5;
		exp >>= 1;
		if (exp==0)
		exp5 *= exp5;
	if (negexp<0)
		fl /= flexp;
		fl *= flexp;
	fl = ldexp(fl, negexp*bexp);
	if (neg<0)
		fl = -fl;


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 [2004-03-02 09:30 UTC]
Where did you get that code from?
 [2004-03-02 11:30 UTC] hoesh at dorsum dot hu
Hi Derick!

Which one? Microsoft ships the sources of the RTL with MSVC distribution. The generic C implementation was taken from, found by google with "atof.c" keyword. The is located at ext/standard, but I'm sure you know it. The report was created by a M$ engineer, from a user dump. M$ was about to find the reason why IIS stops without _any_ notice, warning or alert.

Under high load, the occourance of this problem increases exponentially. I can't figure out, why.

An easy solution to solve this problem should be to put one '\0' at the end of the loaded stream, instead of protecting each double's unserialization, and all floats should go well under all Wind[+]ws.

Right now I'm about to store strings in the session instead of doubles, and cast them runtime to double values.
 [2004-03-16 11:46 UTC]
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