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Winamp fails to properly handle playlists with long "file" parameter

Vulnerability Note VU#604745

Original Release Date: 2006-01-31 | Last Revised: 2006-02-23


Winamp contains a buffer overflow vulnerability when processing a playlist that has a long file parameter. This may allow a remote unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.



Winamp is a media player for Microsoft Windows systems. It can play various types of media files, such as MP3s. Winamp was created by Nullsoft, which has been acquired by America Online.


A Playlist (.PLS or .M3U) file is a text file that contains links to other media files to play. Winamp supports the use of playlist files.

The problem

Winamp contains a buffer overflow when it processes a playlist that has a large File parameter.

Note: Exploit code for this vulnerability is publicly available.


A remote unauthenticated attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code by convincing a user to open a specially crafted playlist. This can be achieved by creating a specially crafted web page or other HTML document that may launch Winamp without any user interaction.


Install an update

This vulnerability has been addressed by Winamp 5.2.

Disable Winamp playlist file association

Disable the file association for Winamp playlist files to help prevent windows applications from using Winamp to open playlists. This can be accomplished by deleting the following registry key:

Configure your web browser

Because a web browser can be used as an attack vector for this vulnerability, configure your web browser to prompt before opening Winamp playlist files. This can help prevent automated exploitation as the result of viewing a web page.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer will open Winamp playlist files without prompting the user. It is possible to modify this behavior so that Internet Explorer will prompt the user before opening Winamp playlist files. To make this change, modify the following registry value:


Set the value to: REG_BINARY 00 00 00 00

Mozilla Firefox

The default configuration of Mozilla Firefox appears to prompt before opening Winamp playlist files. However, if the user has chosen to have playlist files open without prompting, this behavior can be reset by following the instructions in the document Securing Your Web Browser. This document provides instructions for how to configure Mozilla Firefox to save various file types to disk, rather than opening them with the associated application.
Do not open Winamp playlist files

Do not open Winamp playlist files (.PLS or .M3U) from untrusted sources.

Vendor Information


America Online, Inc. Affected

Updated:  January 31, 2006



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

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


Please upgrade to Winamp 5.13 or later.

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

CVSS Metrics

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This vulnerability was publicly disclosed by ATmaCA.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2006-0476
Severity Metric: 58.91
Date Public: 2006-01-29
Date First Published: 2006-01-31
Date Last Updated: 2006-02-23 18:17 UTC
Document Revision: 22

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