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Bug #35369 Serialized objects referencing each other, memory exhaustion when unserializing
Submitted: 2005-11-24 16:15 UTC Modified: 2005-12-02 01:00 UTC
Avg. Score:4.8 ± 0.4
Reproduced:3 of 4 (75.0%)
Same Version:1 (33.3%)
Same OS:1 (33.3%)
From: bugreports at insign dot ch Assigned:
Status: No Feedback Package: Class/Object related
PHP Version: 5CVS-2005-11-24 (CVS) OS: Prolly irrelevant (Linux 2.6.4)
Private report: No CVE-ID: None
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 [2005-11-24 16:15 UTC] bugreports at insign dot ch
Objects, referencing each other, are serialized. The reference seems to be represented as R:1 in the serialized data.

When unserializing the string, it seems (begin of guess) that the reference is not interpreted correctly and countless objects are instantiated instead (end of guess) - the script takes remarkably long and ends with the allowed memory size exhausted.

The problem doesn't seem to occur when the unserialized data is simply echoed instead of assigned to a variable, but obviously that's not so useful. The problem still occurs when var_dumping the unserialized data.

The problem exists on PHP 5.1.0RC6, but not on PHP 5.0.5. Unfortunately, we cannot install the CVS version just for checking if the problem still exists. We hope you're still willing to at least quickly verify it.

Reproduce code:
class A {
  public $b;

class B {
  public $a;

$a = new A();
$b = new B();
$a->b = &$b;
$b->a = &$a;

$x = unserialize(serialize($a));

Expected result:
$x is a copy of $a, with $x->b being a copy of $b that holds a reference to $x. print_r'd that would look like this:

A Object
    [b] => B Object
            [a] => A Object


Actual result:
Memory exhaustion and sometimes a segmentation fault.


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 [2005-11-24 16:20 UTC]
Thank you for this bug report. To properly diagnose the problem, we
need a backtrace to see what is happening behind the scenes. To
find out how to generate a backtrace, please read

Once you have generated a backtrace, please submit it to this bug
report and change the status back to "Open". Thank you for helping
us make PHP better.

 [2005-12-02 01:00 UTC] php-bugs at lists dot php dot net
No feedback was provided for this bug for over a week, so it is
being suspended automatically. If you are able to provide the
information that was originally requested, please do so and change
the status of the bug back to "Open".
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