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Autonomy KeyView OLE Document Integer Overflow Vulnerability



Autonomy KeyView SDK is a commercial SDK that provides many file format parsing libraries. It supports a large number of different document formats. KeyView is used by several popular vendors for processing documents. For more information, visit the URLs referenced below.


Remote exploitation of an integer overflow vulnerability in Autonomy's KeyView Filter SDK allows attackers to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the targeted application.

This vulnerability occurs when processing specially crafted documents. When processing such a document, the software reads an integer value from the file and uses this integer, without validation, in an arithmetic operation to calculate the amount of memory to allocate. If a sufficiently large number is supplied, the calculation overflows, resulting in a buffer of insufficient size being allocated. The software then proceeds to copy data into this under-sized buffer. This results in an exploitable heap buffer overflow condition.


Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with the privileges of the targeted application. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must cause a specially crafted OLE file to be processed by an application using the Autonomy KeyView SDK. This includes file types such as PowerPoint, Excel, Word, as well as other document formats.

The amount of user interaction required is tied to the way in which the KeyView SDK is used. In cases such as Lotus Notes, this requires that an attacker convince a user to view an e-mail attachment; however, in other cases, processing may take place automatically as a document is examined.

The privileges that an attacker gains may be different for each application that uses the KeyView SDK. For example, exploiting this issue via Lotus Notes yields the current user's privileges while exploiting the vulnerability via Symantec Mail Security yields SYSTEM privileges.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability using the following versions of the affected software:

 kvolefio.dll version, distributed with IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 kvolefio.dll version, distributed with Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange 

All versions of the KeyView SDK that include the "kvolefio.dll" library are suspected to be vulnerable. All applications that utilize Autonomy's KeyView SDK to process untrusted content are also believed to be vulnerable. A full list of vulnerable Symantec products can be found in Symantec Security Advisory SYM10-006.


For Symantec Mail Security, disabling "content filtering" will prevent exploitation.

Unfortunately, disabling the affected "kvolefio.dll" library causes additional issues. Working around this issue by disabling filters would require all filters that utilize this module to be disabled. It is not clear at this time if this is even possible. iDefense will update this workaround once more information has been received from the vendor#s#.


Releases of all affected versions of Autonomy Keyview: 7.0, 7.4, 9.2, 10.1, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.8, 10.9, were made prior to October 14th 2009. Updates are available at

Symantec Corporation has released a solution 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-2009-3032 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


09/28/2009 Initial Vendor Notification
09/28/2009 Initial Vendor Reply
03/04/2010 Coordinated Public Disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by Joshua J. Drake of iDefense Labs.

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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.