Vulnerability Note VU#435188

Apple Mac OS X AppKit vulnerable to buffer overflow via the handling of maliciously crafted rich text files

Original Release date: 17 Aug 2005 | Last revised: 18 Aug 2005


A buffer overflow vulnerability exists in a component of Apple's Mac OS X operating system that handles rich text files.


The Cocoa Application Framework (also referred to as the Application Kit, or AppKit) is one of the core Cocoa frameworks supplied with Apple's Mac OS X operating system. It provides functionality and associated application program interfaces (APIs) for applications, including objects for graphical user interfaces (GUIs), event-handling mechanisms, application services, and drawing and image composition facilities.

A buffer overflow exists in the AppKit component designed to handle rich text (.rtf) files. This vulnerability affects applications that use AppKit (such as TextEdit) to open .rtf files. A maliciously crafted .rtf file could be used to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


An attacker with the ability to supply a maliciously crafted .rtf file could execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system. The attacker-supplied code would be executed with the privileges of the user opening the malicious file.


Apply a patch

Apple has released a patch to address this issue and other security issues in Security Update 2005-007. Users are encouraged to apply the patches from this update.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Apple Computer, Inc.Affected-17 Aug 2005
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



Thanks to Apple Product Security for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Chad R Dougherty based on information supplied by Apple.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2005-2501
  • Date Public: 15 Aug 2005
  • Date First Published: 17 Aug 2005
  • Date Last Updated: 18 Aug 2005
  • Severity Metric: 15.49
  • Document Revision: 9


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