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Apple QuickTime QTIF Image File Parsing Memory Corruption Vulnerability



QuickTime is Apple's media player product used to render video and other media. For more information, visit


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

The vulnerability specifically exists in QuickTime PictureViewer's handling of specially crafted QTIF image files.

When processing specially crafted QTIF image files, QuickTime PictureViewer uses a value from the file to control the length of a byte-swap operation. The byte-swap operation is used to convert big endian data to little endian data. QuickTime fails to validate the length value properly before using it. When a length value is larger than the actual buffer size supplied, it will corrupt heap memory beyond the allocated buffer, which could lead to an exploitable condition.


Successful exploitation could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user viewing the QTIF image page. To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must persuade a victim into using QuickTime to open a specially crafted QTIF image 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 QTIF file. Upon visiting the malicious Web page exploitation would occur and execution of arbitrary code would be possible. Alternatively a QTIF file could be attached within an e-mail file.


Quicktime Player versions 7.7.3 and prior are vulnerable.


iDefense recommends disabling the QuickTime Web broswer plug-in and removing the image file type associations with Quicktime Pictureviewer. Disabling the plug-in will prevent Web browsers from utilizing QuickTime Player to view associated media files on a Web page. Removing the file type associations within the registry will prevent QuickTime Player and PictureViewer from opening image files by double-clicking.


Apple has released a fix 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-2013-0987 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


11/28/2012 Initial Vendor Notification
11/28/2012 Initial Vendor Reply
05/23/2013 Coordinated Public Disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by Ruben Alejandro.

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Copyright © 2013 Verisign, Inc.

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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.