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php -- memory_limit related vulnerability


Stefan Esser of e-matters discovered a condition within PHP that may lead to remote execution of arbitrary code. The memory_limit facility is used to notify functions when memory contraints have been met. Under certain conditions, the entry into this facility is able to interrupt functions such as zend_hash_init() at locations not suitable for interruption. The result would leave these functions in a vulnerable state.

An attacker that is able to trigger the memory_limit abort within zend_hash_init() and is additionally able to control the heap before the HashTable itself is allocated, is able to supply his own HashTable destructor pointer. [...]

All mentioned places outside of the extensions are quite easy to exploit, because the memory allocation up to those places is deterministic and quite static throughout different PHP versions. [...]

Because the exploit itself consist of supplying an arbitrary destructor pointer this bug is exploitable on any platform.



portaudit: php -- memory_limit related vulnerability

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Oliver Eikemeier <>