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Clam AntiVirus Cabinet-file handling DoS vuln
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 11.04.05: Clam AntiVirus Cabinet-file handling Denial of Service Vulnerability
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 11.04.05: Clam AntiVirus Cabinet-file handling Denial of Service Vulnerability

Clam AntiVirus Cabinet-file handling Denial of Service Vulnerability

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 11.04.05 
November 4, 2005


Clam AntiVirus is a GPL anti-virus toolkit for Unix.


Remote exploitation of a design error in Clam AntiVirus ClamAV allows
attackers to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition.

The vulnerability specifically exists with the libmspack library, which
is included in ClamAV. The vulnerability can be found in the cabd_find
function within mspack/cabd.c:

for (offset = 0; offset < flen; offset += length) {
    length = flen - offset;

    [... read length from file ...]

    for (p = &buf[0], pend = &buf[length]; p < pend; ) {
      switch (state) {
        [ ... ]
        case 19:
=> header has been completely read, cablen has been read from bytes 8-11


          /* likely cabinet found -- try reading it */
          cab = sys->alloc(sys, sizeof(struct mscabd_cabinet_p); => an
mscabd_cabinet_p entry will be allocated each time

          /* cabinet read correctly! */
          offset = caboff + cablen;
=> if cablen (and caboff) == 0, offset will be equal to 0


          /* restart search */
          length = 0;
          p = pend;
          state = 0;
=> if offset == 0, we will restart at the beginning of the file =>
(because length == 0, so offset will still be zero in the next

If this function is called with a length value of zero, an infinite loop
occurs. The comments above explain the scenario.


Successful exploitation requires an attacker to send a specially
constructed CAB file through a mail gateway or personal anti-virus
client utilizing the ClamAV scanning engine. 

The infinite loop will cause the ClamAV software to use all available
processor resources, resulting in a denial of service or severe
degradation of system performance. Ultimately, the OOM handler will
terminate a task in order to alleviate the stress on the system. 


iDEFENSE has confirmed this vulnerability on ClamAV 0.86.1. All previous
versions are suspected vulnerable to this issue. 


Archive file analysis can be disabled (--no-archive) but this can have
severe impacts on the virus detection functionality.


The vendor has released clamav 0.87.1 to address this vulnerability. It
is available for download at: 


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not
been assigned yet.


10/07/2005  Initial vendor notification
10/12/2005  Initial vendor response
11/04/2005  Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email for permission. 

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.

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