VideoLAN VLC lavc_CopyPicture Heap-Based Buffer Over-Read Vulnerability [CVE-2019-13962]

CVE Number – CVE-2019-13962

A vulnerability in VideoLAN VLC media player could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on a targeted system.

The vulnerability exists because the lavc_CopyPicture function, as defined in the modules/codec/avcodec/video.c source code file of the affected software, does not properly validate user-supplied input. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by persuading a user to access a .m3u file that submits malicious input to the targeted system. A successful exploit could cause a heap-based buffer over-read condition that the attacker could use to execute arbitrary code or cause a DoS condition. 

Proof-of-concept (PoC) code that demonstrates an exploit of this vulnerability is publicly available. 

VideoLAN has confirmed the vulnerability and released software updates.


  • To exploit this vulnerability, the attacker may use misleading language or instructions to persuade a user to access a .m3u file that submits malicious input to the targeted system.


  • Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.

    Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to have network access.

    Administrators are advised to use an unprivileged account when browsing the Internet.

    Administrators are advised to monitor critical systems.

    Users are advised not to open email messages from suspicious or unrecognized sources. If users cannot verify that links or attachments included in email messages are safe, they are advised not to open them.

    Users are advised not to visit websites or follow links that have suspicious characteristics or cannot be verified as safe.

Vendor Announcements

  • VideoLAN has released a security ticket at the following link: Ticket #22240

Fixed Software

Duncan Newell

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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