Feeds

Buffer the Overflow Slayer v. the ActiveX Files

Flashpix nix 'safe for scripts'

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Microsoft's DirectX Media software development kit may be doing a lot more than helping designers give a realistic flesh tone to Lara Croft's breasts. It could also be introducing critical vulnerabilities into a countless number of applications that are spawned by the SDK.

That's because the SDK, which streamlines much of the work of building graphic-intensive video games and applications, contains a third-party ActiveX control that's vulnerable to a buffer overflow. Labeled DirectTransform FlashPix and provided by the Live Picture Corporation, it leaves applications vulnerable to attacks that allow for the remote execution of code.

An attacker would still have to lure a victim running FlashPix to a visit booby-trapped website or open a maliciously crafted email. But hey, we're talking about virtual worlds and multi-player video games, where people consort with strangers all the time.

"This is worse than your average social engineering situation," says security researcher Rodney Thayer. "If you're in a gaming environment where you're trying to get the dwarf to talk to you in English, you may actually listen to people who give you advice."

Internet Explorer can also be used as an attack vector, because FlashPix is labeled as "safe for scripting".

The vulnerability was discovered by Krystian Kloskowski and is rated "highly critical" in this posting on Secunia. It's also discussed here on the US-Cert website. Proof-of-concept code can be found on MilW0rm here.

The flaw comes courtesy of a boundary error in Live Picture's DXSurface.LivePicture.FLashPix.1, which translates to the DXTLIPI.DLL file on Windows machines. It can be exploited to cause a buffer overflow by assigning excessive strings to the affected property.

Workarounds include setting the kill-bit for the FlashPix control(CLSID {201EA564-A6F6-11D1-811D-00C04FB6BD36}) or disabling all ActiveX controls in the Internet zone.

A Microsoft spokesman said the company's security team is investigating the report and is unaware of any attacks using the claimed vulnerability. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.