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CERT Coordination Center

Apple QuickTime Player for Windows contains buffer overflow in processing of overly long QuickTime URLs

Vulnerability Note VU#112553

Original Release Date: 2003-04-01 | Last Revised: 2003-04-01


Apple's QuickTime Player is a player for files and streaming media in the QuickTime format. Versions of the player are available for both the Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS platforms. A flaw in the version for Windows could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


A buffer overflow exists in the QuickTime Player for Windows' handling of overly long URL of the type quicktime://... A specially crafted URL consisting of a long string of characters can cause the QuickTime Player to crash or allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code of their choosing with the privileges of the user running the QuickTime Player.

The URL containing the exploit code may be hosted on a webpage, introduced via HTML email, or presented to the user in another fashion that encourages them to browse to it.


If the QuickTime player software is instructed to load a URL that is specially crafted by an attacker, arbitrary code can be executed under the privileges of the QuickTime user. This crafted URL may be supplied on a webpage or in email for the victim to select, or some other means designed to encourage them to invoke the QuickTime Player using the exploit URL.


Apply a patch from the vendor

Apple has released a patch to address this vulnerability; please see the vendor section of this document for further details.

Removing the QuickTime handler from the web browser or removing the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/quicktime registry key may prevent automatic exploitation through HTML pages.

Vendor Information


Apple Computer Inc. Affected

Updated:  April 01, 2003



Vendor Statement

APPLE-SA-2003-03-31 QuickTime Player for Windows

A potential vulnerability in Apple's QuickTime Player for Windows could
allow a remote attacker to compromise a target system.  This exploit is
only possible if the attacker can convince a user to load a specially
crafted QuickTime URL.  Upon successful exploitation, arbitrary code
can be executed under the privileges of the QuickTime user.

CVE Candidate ID:  CAN-2003-0168

Versions affected:  QuickTime Player versions 5.x and 6.0 for Windows.
QuickTime Player for Mac OS and Mac OS X are not affected.

Recommendation:  Install QuickTime version 6.1 for Windows

QuickTime 6.1 for Windows is available via:
  - or -
  "Update Existing Software" menu item in QuickTime Player

Credit to Texonet ( for discovering this

Apple Product Security

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

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This vulnerability was discovered by the staff at Texonet and reported by iDEFENSE Labs.

This document was written by Chad R Dougherty.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2003-0168
Severity Metric: 15.68
Date Public: 2003-03-31
Date First Published: 2003-04-01
Date Last Updated: 2003-04-01 20:06 UTC
Document Revision: 9

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