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Abobe Shockwave Player Heap Memory Indexing Vulnerability



Adobe Shockwave Player is a popular Web browser plugin. It is available for multiple Web browsers and platforms, including Windows, and MacOS. Shockwave Player enables Web browsers to display rich multimedia content in the form of Shockwave videos. For more information, see the vendor's site found at the following link:


Remote exploitation of a heap memory indexing vulnerability in Adobe Systems Inc.'s Shockwave Player could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.

The vulnerability takes place during the processing of a certain malformed file. A function calculates an offset to be used within a memory mapped file and returns the offset value. The return value is not checked. This can lead to a condition where an attacker is able to overwrite memory outside the bounds of the allocated memory map.


Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with the privileges of the user viewing the Web page. To exploit this vulnerability, a targeted user must load a malicious file created by an attacker. An attacker typically accomplishes this via social engineering or injecting content into a compromised, trusted site.

Adobe Shockwave Player implements a custom memory management system for object allocation. Due to the design of the memory allocator, an attacker is able to predict the distance of objects within a memory map. This condition can help facilitate reliable exploitation of this vulnerability.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in the latest version of Shockwave Player at the time of testing, version 11.5.6r606. Shockwave Player and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh are vulnerable.


The killbit for the Shockwave Player ActiveX control can be set by creating the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerActiveX Compatibility{233C1507-6A77-46A4-9443-F871F945D258} Under this key create a new DWORD value called "Compatibility Flags" and set its hexadecimal value to 400.

To re-enable Shockwave Player set the "Compatibility Flags" value to 0.


Adobe has released a fix which addresses this issue. Information about downloadable vendor updates can be found by clicking on the URLs shown.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2010-0129 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


03/03/2010 Initial Vendor Notification
03/03/2009 Initial Vendor Reply
05/11/2010 Coordinated Public Disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2010 Verisign, Inc.

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