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Security Services

Apple CoreGraphics Library Heap Memory Corruption Vulnerability



Apple's CoreGraphics library is an API used to create and manipulate graphical elements. This API is used by many Apple applications, including the Safari browser on both Windows and Mac OS X.


Remote exploitation of a heap memory corruption vulnerability in Apple Inc.'s CoreGraphics library could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.

This vulnerability occurs during the processing of an embedded International Color Consortium (ICC) profile within a JPEG image. A small block of heap memory may be allocated for processing certain profile data. An index value is used to reference locations within this heap block. The index value can be manipulated in a manner that results in multiple memory writes to locations outside the bounds of the heap allocated block. This condition may lead to arbitrary code execution.


Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with the privileges of the user viewing the JPEG image. To exploit this vulnerability, a targeted user must load a malicious JPEG image. 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.


Apple iTunes versions prior to 10.2 are vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of an effective workaround for this vulnerability, as it is not possible to disable the CoreGraphics Framework without major functionality loss.


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-2011-0170 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


08/11/2010 Initial Vendor Notification
08/11/2010 Initial Vendor Reply
03/02/2011 Coordinated Public Disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by Andrzej Dyjak

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Copyright © 2011 Verisign, Inc.

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