Adobe Flash Player plug-in null pointer dereference and browser crash

Risk: Low
Local: No
Remote: Yes
CWE: CWE-399

CVSS Base Score: 4.3/10
Impact Subscore: 2.9/10
Exploitability Subscore: 8.6/10
Exploit range: Remote
Attack complexity: Medium
Authentication: No required
Confidentiality impact: None
Integrity impact: None
Availability impact: Partial

If a Flash 9 SWF loads two SWF files with different SWF version numbers from two distinct HTTP requests to the exact same URL (including query string arguments), then Adobe's Flash Player plug-in will try to dereference a null pointer. This issue affects at least versions,,, and on Windows, OS X, and Linux. For browsers where plug-ins run in the same process (e.g., Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox 3, and Safari 3 on Windows and OS X), this causes the entire browser process to crash. Sample code demonstrating this issue is available at On 2008.09.22, I submitted this issue to Adobe's JIRA bug tracking system, which recorded it as issue #FP-677. On 2008.09.23, the ticket was changed to private for security reasons, and Adobe told me they were able to reproduce the issue and were investigating it. On 2008.09.26, I told Adobe I planned on submitting this issue to BugTraq and asked if they had found any workarounds for users that I could include. On 2008.10.01, they told me they had resolved the problem and that a fix will be included in the next public update, but they did not provide any workarounds. Matthew Dempsky


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