Symbian S60 / Nokia firmware media codecs multiple memory corruption vulnerabilities

SEC Consult Security Advisory < 20090707-0 >


title: Symbian S60 / Nokia firmware media codecs

multiple memory corruption vulnerabilities

vulnerable version: All Nokia smartphones with multimedia capabilities

Tested on E61, E71, N96

impact: Critical


found: May 2009

by: Bernhard Mueller / SEC Consult /




Vulnerability overview:



Multiple memory corruption vulnerabilities have been identified in multimedia

codecs used by the RealPlayer and MMS viewer on Nokia's Symbian/S60 based

smartphones. An attacker could leverage these bugs to gain control of the

program counter register and execute arbitrary code on a target smartphone.

The bugs can be triggered directly inside the MMS viewer of the target,

by sending an MMS with an embedded video file.



Vulnerability description:



This advisory describes multiple bugs found within several libraries:


* rarender.dll

* STH264HWDecHwDevice.dll

* clntcore.dll

* HxMmfCtrl.dll

* mdfh264payloadformat.dll

* MMFDevSound.dll

* ArmRV89Codec.dll


The effects that can be triggered with manipulated video files range from

user panic exceptions to exploitable data abort conditions that can be

used to indirectly influence function pointers and gain control of the

exploited process. A more detailed analysis, as well as the testing approach

used to identifiy the vulnerabilities, can be found in the whitepaper

"From 0 to 0day in Symbian" available at:



Proof of concept:



SEC Consult will not release a full proof of concept exploit to the public.



Vulnerable versions:



All Nokia / Symbian S60 smartphones with RealPlayer are likely vulnerable.

The test and debugging subject was a Nokia N96 smartphone with firmware version

11.018. The resulting files were also sent to a Nokia E61i and a Nokia E71 and

crashed either the MMS application or the operating system.



Vendor contact timeline:



2008-06-13: Full fuzzing results sent to Nokia

2009-06-30: Whitepaper sent to Nokia

2009-07-06: Limited public release






No patch is available at the time of this writing.






From an end user perspective, security best practices should be applied that

are similar to those required on desktop PCs. The following list contains some

of the most important guidelines:


* Perform regular software updates

* Do not install unnecessary applications and services

* Use Anti Virus software

* Take care when browsing the web

* Do not open SMS, MMS or emails from unknown sources25




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Office Vienna

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Tel.: +43 / 1 / 890 30 43 - 0

Fax.: +43 / 1 / 890 30 43 - 25

Mail: research at sec-consult dot com


EOF Bernhard Mueller / @2009