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ESRI ArcSDE Numeric Literal Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
iDefense Security Advisory 08.15.07: ESRI ArcSDE Numeric Literal Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
iDefense Security Advisory 08.15.07: ESRI ArcSDE Numeric Literal Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

ESRI ArcSDE Numeric Literal Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

iDefense Security Advisory 08.15.07 
Aug 15, 2007


ESRI Inc. ArcSDE is a multi-user database server bundled with ArcGIS to
provide access to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). More
information is available at the following URL. 


Remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability within
Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Inc.'s ArcSDE service
allows attackers to crash the service or potentially execute arbitrary

This vulnerability specifically exists due to insufficient buffer space
when representing user-supplied numeric values in ASCII. Certain
requests result in an sprintf() call using a static-sized 8 byte stack
buffer. If an attacker supplies a number that's ASCII value cannot be
represented within 8 bytes, a stack-based buffer overflow occurs.


Exploitation allows attackers to crash the service, or potentially
execute arbitrary code.

Since an attacker can only overflow the buffer with numeric values and a
single NUL byte, the execution of arbitrary may not be possible. Denial
of service is definitely possible.

No authentication is required to exploit this vulnerability.
Exploitation requires that attacker be able to communicate with the
server via the TCP port on which it is listening. By default the server
listens on port 5151.


The vendor has confirmed that version 9.2 of ArcSDE, as bundled with
ArcGIS, is vulnerable to this attack. All versions are suspected to be


Employing firewalls to limit access to the affected service can help
prevent potential exploitation of this vulnerability.


ESRI has addressed this vulnerability by releasing ArcSDE 9.2 Service
Pack 3. More information is available from their Service Pack 3 release
notes at the following URL. 


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2007-4278 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for 
security problems.


05/14/2007  Initial vendor notification
05/14/2007  Initial vendor response
08/15/2007  Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright =A9 2007 iDefense, Inc.

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