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Multiple Vendor WebKit SVG animVal Memory Corruption Vulnerability



WebKit is an open source web browser engine. It is currently used by Apple Inc.'s Safari browser, as well as by Google's Chrome browser. For more information, see the vendor's site at the following link.


Remote exploitation of a memory corruption vulnerability in WebKit, as included with multiple vendors' browsers, could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an XML based file format used to describe two dimensional vector graphics. It defines both a markup language, and a JavaScript interface.

When parsing a series of SVG tags, and then manipulating them via JavaScript, Safari fails to handle exceptional conditions. It is possible to trigger a use after free vulnerability by manipulating the animVal property of various SVG tags. This leaves a C++ object pointer in an inconsistent state, which can lead to the execution of arbitrary code.


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 webpage created by an attacker. An attacker typically accomplishes this via social engineering or injecting content into compromised, trusted sites. After the user visits the malicious web page, no further user interaction is needed.


Safari versions prior to 5.1 and 5.0.6 are vulnerable.


Disabling JavaScript is an effective workaround for this vulnerability.


Apple Inc. has released patches which addresses this issue. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2011-0240 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


12/01/2010 Initial Vendor Notification
12/01/2010 Initial Vendor Reply
07/20/2011 Coordinated Public Disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by wushi of team509.

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Copyright © 2011 Verisign, Inc.

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