GNU Binutils Binary File Descriptor Library Heap-Based Buffer Over-Read Vulnerability [CVE-2019-12972]

CVE Number – CVE-2019-12972

A vulnerability in the Binary File Descriptor (BFD) library, as distributed in GNU Binutils could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on a targeted system.The vulnerability is due to a heap-based buffer over-read condition that exists in the _brd_doprntfunction, as defined in the bfd.c source code file of the affected software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by submitting malicious executable and linkable format (ELF) input to the targeted system. A successful exploit could cause the affected software to stop responding or crash, resulting in a DoS condition.Proof-of-concept (PoC) code that demonstrates an exploit of this vulnerability is publicly available.The vendor has confirmed the vulnerability and released software updates.


  • To exploit this vulnerability, the attacker must have user-level access to the targeted system. This access requirement may reduce the likelihood of a successful exploit.


  • Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.

    Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to access local systems.

    Administrators are advised to allow only privileged users to access administration or management systems.

    Administrators are advised to monitor critical systems.

Vendor Announcements

  • The vendor has released a bug report at the following link: Bug 24689.

Fixed Software

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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