Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Application Security

Libpng Patches Flaw Introduced in 1995

The updates released for the “libpng” library in late December patch an old vulnerability introduced by developers in 1995.

Libpng is the official Portable Network Graphics (PNG) reference library. The platform-independent library has been around for more than two decades and it has been used by various projects, including many Linux distributions.

The updates released for the “libpng” library in late December patch an old vulnerability introduced by developers in 1995.

Libpng is the official Portable Network Graphics (PNG) reference library. The platform-independent library has been around for more than two decades and it has been used by various projects, including many Linux distributions.

Versions 1.6.26, 1.5.27, 1.4.19, 1.2.56, 1.0.66 and prior are affected by a null pointer dereference vulnerability related to the png_set_text_2() function. The security hole, tracked as CVE-2016-10087, only affects PNG image editors – viewing apps are not impacted – and it cannot be exploited without user interaction. Exploitation of the flaw can lead to a denial-of-service (DoS) condition.

“To be vulnerable, an application has to load a text chunk into the png structure, then delete all text, then add another text chunk to the same png structure, which seems to be an unlikely sequence, but it has happened,” developers of the Slackware Linux distro said in an advisory.

The vulnerability, discovered and patched by Patrick Keshishian, was introduced in June 1995, in version 0.71. The issue was resolved in late December with the release of libpng versions 1.6.27, 1.5.28, 1.4.20, 1.2.57 and 1.0.67.

In addition to Slackware, the developers of Red Hat, Debian, Gentoo, ArchLinux and SuSE have also published advisories for the flaw. However, the issue has been classified as a low-severity bug and only some Linux distributions have released patches.

Two dozen vulnerability warnings have been published on the official libpng website since 2004, including for DoS and code execution issues. However, CVE-2016-10087 was the only flaw identified and patched in 2016. In the previous year, libpng developers addressed three security holes, including a couple of memory corruption vulnerabilities.

Related Reading: Code Execution Flaws Patched in HDF5 Library

Related Reading: X.Org Library Flaws Allow Privilege Escalation, DoS Attacks

Related Reading: Several Vulnerabilities Patched in Libarchive Library

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

Mobile & Wireless

Technical details published for an Arm Mali GPU flaw leading to arbitrary kernel code execution and root on Pixel 6.

Cloud Security

VMware vRealize Log Insight vulnerability allows an unauthenticated attacker to take full control of a target system.

Mobile & Wireless

Apple rolled out iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 to cover serious security vulnerabilities.

Mobile & Wireless

Apple’s iOS 12.5.7 update patches CVE-2022-42856, an actively exploited vulnerability, in old iPhones and iPads.

Vulnerabilities

Security researchers have observed an uptick in attacks targeting CVE-2021-35394, an RCE vulnerability in Realtek Jungle SDK.

Vulnerabilities

Google has awarded more than $25,000 to the researchers who reported the vulnerabilities patched with the release of the latest Chrome update.

Mobile & Wireless

Two vulnerabilities in Samsung’s Galaxy Store that could be exploited to install applications or execute JavaScript code by launching a web page.