MathML is an XML-based markup language used to describe mathematical operations. It can be embedded inside of HTML and is supported by the WebKit engine.
Remote exploitation of a use-after-free vulnerability in WebKit, as included with multiple vendors' browsers, could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.
The vulnerability occurs during the processing of MathML markup tags. Specifically, it is possible to trigger a use-after-free vulnerability when Safari fails to properly release an object. The object's memory is freed; however, a reference to the object remains. When the reference is later used to access the object, this now invalid memory is treated as a valid object and the object's vtable is used to make an indirect function call. This may result in 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 Web page 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.
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-2011-1449 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org/), which standardizes names for security problems.
12/15/2010 Initial Vendor Notification
12/15/2010 Initial Vendor Reply
07/20/2011 Coordinated Public Disclosure
This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by wushi of team509.
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