Vulnerabilities > CVE-2017-2790 - Improper Restriction of Operations within the Bounds of a Memory Buffer vulnerability in Justsystems Ichitaro

Attack vector
Attack complexity
Privileges required
Confidentiality impact
Integrity impact
Availability impact
low complexity


When processing a record type of 0x3c from a Workbook stream from an Excel file (.xls), JustSystems Ichitaro Office trusts that the size is greater than zero, subtracts one from the length, and uses this result as the size for a memcpy. This results in a heap-based buffer overflow and can lead to code execution under the context of the application.

Vulnerable Configurations

Part Description Count

Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC)

  • Buffer Overflow via Environment Variables
    This attack pattern involves causing a buffer overflow through manipulation of environment variables. Once the attacker finds that they can modify an environment variable, they may try to overflow associated buffers. This attack leverages implicit trust often placed in environment variables.
  • Overflow Buffers
    Buffer Overflow attacks target improper or missing bounds checking on buffer operations, typically triggered by input injected by an attacker. As a consequence, an attacker is able to write past the boundaries of allocated buffer regions in memory, causing a program crash or potentially redirection of execution as per the attackers' choice.
  • Client-side Injection-induced Buffer Overflow
    This type of attack exploits a buffer overflow vulnerability in targeted client software through injection of malicious content from a custom-built hostile service.
  • Filter Failure through Buffer Overflow
    In this attack, the idea is to cause an active filter to fail by causing an oversized transaction. An attacker may try to feed overly long input strings to the program in an attempt to overwhelm the filter (by causing a buffer overflow) and hoping that the filter does not fail securely (i.e. the user input is let into the system unfiltered).
  • MIME Conversion
    An attacker exploits a weakness in the MIME conversion routine to cause a buffer overflow and gain control over the mail server machine. The MIME system is designed to allow various different information formats to be interpreted and sent via e-mail. Attack points exist when data are converted to MIME compatible format and back.


description### Summary A vulnerability was discovered within the Ichitaro word processor. Ichitaro is published by JustSystems and is considered one of the more popular word processors used within Japan. Ichitaro handles Microsoft Excel's .xls file format. When processing a record type of 0x3c from a Workbook stream from an .xls, the application trusts that the size is greater than zero, subtracts one from the length, and uses this result as the size for a memcpy. This results in a heap-based buffer overflow and can lead to code-execution under the context of the application. ### Tested Versions JustSystems Ichitaro ### Product URLs ### CVSSv3 Score 8.8 - CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H ### Details This vulnerability revolves around an unchecked integer underflow of the size of a Record of type 0x3c within a Workbook stream in an .xls file handled by Ichitaro. The modules involved in the vulnerability are below (as described by `lm vm` in windbg): ``` start end module name 44aa0000 44ba3000 JCXCALC C (export symbols) C:\Program Files (x86)\JustSystems\JSLIB32\JCXCALC.DLL File version: Product version: ``` While reading a record of type 0x3c, the application calculates the number of bytes it needs to copy into memory. This calculation involves subtracting one from a value read from the file itself (offset 0x1afef in the provided sample) causing an integer underflow. ``` JCXCALC!JCXCCALC_Jsfc_ExConvert+0xa4b1e: 44b48cda 8b461e mov eax,dword ptr [esi+1Eh] // File data from 0x3c Record 44b48cdd 668b4802 mov cx,word ptr [eax+2] // Size from file (in our case 0) ... 44b48ce4 6649 dec cx // Underflow the 0 to be 0xffff ... 44b48ce8 894d08 mov dword ptr [ebp+8],ecx // Store the 0xffff for later use ``` Later in the same function, this underflowed value is passed to the function handling the copying of file data. ``` JCXCALC!JCXCCALC_Jsfc_ExConvert+0xa4b46: 44b48d04 0fb75508 movzx edx,word ptr [ebp+8] // Store 0xffff into edx ... 44b48d1f 52 push edx // Push size 44b48d20 51 push ecx // Push destination address 44b48d21 83c005 add eax,5 44b48d24 52 push edx // Push size 44b48d25 50 push eax // Push source address 44b48d26 e8c5f7ffff call JCXCALC!JCXCCALC_Jsfc_ExConvert+0xa4334 (44b484f0) ``` The main copy function does have a check to ensure that the size is greater than zero. The underflow value flys under the radar though and passes all checks. Below is the copy function commented with relevant variable names. Note, due to the same register being pushed in the above assembly, both `size` and `size_ in` the below C code are equal. ``` int JCXCALC!JCXCCALC_Jsfc_ExConvert+0xa4334(int src, int size, int dst, int size_) { int result; result = 0; if ( !size_ ) return size; if ( size > size_ ) return 0; if ( size > 0 ) { result = size; do { *dst = *src++; ++dst; --size; } while ( size ); } return result; } ``` The `dst` address is an allocation with size also from the file of the surrounding element with type `0x1b6` (offset 0x1afe5 in the provided sample). This size is multiplied by 2 before being passed to a `malloc`. ``` JCXCALC!JCXCCALC_Jsfc_ExConvert+0xa4a1c: 442c8bd8 668b470e mov ax,word ptr [edi+0Eh] // Size from 0x1b6 element 442c8bdc 50 push eax 442c8bdd e88b87f6ff call JCXCALC!JCXCCALC_Jsfc_ExConvert+0xd1b1 (4423136d) JCXCALC!JCXCCALC_Jsfc_ExConvert+0xd1b1: 4423136d 0fb7442404 movzx eax,word ptr [esp+4] 44231372 d1e0 shl eax,1 44231374 50 push eax 44231375 ff1580d42f44 call ds:malloc 4423137b 59 pop ecx 4423137c c3 ret ``` Now that an attacker can control both the size of the allocation, trusted from the file, and the size of a memcpy, by leveraging an integer underflow, a heap-based buffer overflow can occur, which can lead to arbitary code execution. ### Timeline * 2016-08-29 - Vendor Disclosure * 2017-02-24 - Public Release ### CREDIT * Discovered by a Talos team member and Cory Duplantis of Cisco Talos.
last seen2017-11-19
titleIchitaro Office Excel File Code Execution Vulnerability(CVE-2017-2790)


last seen2019-05-29
reporterTalos Intelligence
titleIchitaro Office Excel File Code Execution Vulnerability