Vulnerability Note VU#309873

Apple QuickTime JPEG2000 heap buffer overflow

Original Release date: 08 Dec 2010 | Last revised: 28 Mar 2012


Apple QuickTime contains a heap buffer overflow in the processing of JPEG2000 data, which can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


Apple's QuickTime Player is multimedia software that allows users to view local and remote audio, video, and image content. QuickTime contains a heap buffer overflow in the code that handles JPEG2000 data.

This vulnerability may be triggered by using the QuickTime Player or an application that uses the QuickTime plug-in, such as a web browser.

Note that this issue affects QuickTime installations on both Apple Mac and Windows operating systems.


By causing QuickTime to process specially crafted JPEG2000 data (e.g. by viewing a web page, HTML email message or attachment, or by opening an image or video file), an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.


Apply an update

This issue is addressed in Apple Mac OS X v10.6.5 and Security Update 2010-007 as well as QuickTime 7.6.9.

Disable the QuickTime ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer

The vulnerable QuickTime ActiveX controls can be disabled in Internet Explorer by setting the kill bit for the following CLSIDs:


More information about how to set the kill bit is available in Microsoft Support Document 240797. Alternatively, the following text can be saved as a .REG file and imported to set the kill bit for these controls:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{4063BE15-3B08-470D-A0D5-B37161CFFD69}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{4063BE15-3B08-470D-A0D5-B37161CFFD69}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400

Disable the QuickTime plug-in for Mozilla-based browsers

Users of Mozilla-based browsers, such as Firefox can disable the QuickTime plugin, as specified in the PluginDoc article Uninstalling Plugins.

Disable file association for QuickTime files

Disable the file association for QuickTime file types to help prevent windows applications from using Apple QuickTime to open QuickTime files. This can be accomplished by deleting the following registry keys:

This will remove the association for approximately 32 file types that are configured to open with the QuickTime Player software.

Disable JavaScript

For instructions on how to disable JavaScript, please refer to the Securing Your Web Browser document. This can help prevent some attack techniques that use the QuickTime plug-in or ActiveX control.

Do not access QuickTime files from untrusted sources

Attackers may host malicious QuickTime files on web sites. In order to convince users to visit their sites, those attackers often use a variety of techniques to create misleading links including URL encoding, IP address variations, long URLs, and intentional misspellings. Do not click on unsolicited links received in email, instant messages, web forums, or internet relay chat (IRC) channels. Type URLs directly into the browser to avoid these misleading links. While these are generally good security practices, following these behaviors will not prevent exploitation of this vulnerability in all cases, particularly if a trusted site has been compromised or allows cross-site scripting.

Vendor Information (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Apple Inc.Affected05 Nov 201008 Dec 2010
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base 9.0 AV:N/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:C/A:P
Temporal 7.0 E:POC/RL:OF/RC:C
Environmental 7.0 CDP:ND/TD:ND/CR:ND/IR:ND/AR:ND



This vulnerability was discovered by Will Dormann of the CERT/CC. It was also independently discovered by Nils of MWR InfoSecurity

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2010-3787
  • Date Public: 10 Nov 2010
  • Date First Published: 08 Dec 2010
  • Date Last Updated: 28 Mar 2012
  • Severity Metric: 27.97
  • Document Revision: 8


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