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RealNetworks RealPlayer AAC Codec Memory Corruption Vulnerability



RealPlayer is RealNetworks's media player product used to render video and other media. For more information, visit:


Remote exploitation of a memory corruption vulnerability in RealNetworks Inc.'s RealPlayer media player could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the targeted user.

The vulnerability specifically exists in the way RealPlayer handles specially crafted RealMedia files using AAC codec. When decoding an AAC audio stream in a specially crafted RealMedia file, RealPlayer uses a value from the file without properly validating it, which leads to heap memory corruption and an exploitable condition.


Successful exploitation could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the currently logged-on user. To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must persuade a victim into using RealPlayer to open a specially crafted media file. This could be accomplished by either direct link or referenced from a website under the attacker's control. An attacker could host a Web page containing a malformed file. Upon visiting the malicious Web page, exploitation would occur and execution of arbitrary code would be possible. Alternatively a malicious media file could be attached within an e-mail file.


The following versions of RealPlayer are vulnerable:

  • RealPlayer 11.0 - 11.1
  • RealPlayer SP 1.0 - 1.1.5
  • RealPlayer 14.0.0 - 14.0.7
  • Mac RealPlayer


iDefense is currently unaware of any workaround for this issue.


RealNetworks has released patches and workarounds to address this vulnerability. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2011-4246 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


06/15/2011 Initial Vendor Notification
06/15/2011 Initial Vendor Reply
11/18/2011 Coordinated Public Disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by Andrzej Dyjak.

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Copyright © 2011 Verisign, Inc.

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