Public Vulnerability Reports

Winamp m3u Parsing Stack Overflow Vulnerability



Winamp is a popular media player for Windows which supports many
audio/video file formats.

More information can be obtained from the vendors site at:


It has been found that a specially crafted m3u or pls file can overwrite
a stack based buffer allowing for remote code execution.

Example m3U file format:


Example pls file to trigger exploit:

File1=\01 01AAA[...]AAA

This vulnerability is specific to the 5.11 version of Winamp and does
not affect previous versions.


When Winamp is installed it registers the m3u extension so that such
files  will automatically open in Winamp. This exploit can be triggered
by  clicking on a link in a webpage, or from the use of malicious

Exploitation is straight forward, using a long full path. This path
can be either a filename or the UNC name for a fileshare, which does
not have to exist.

Public exploit code has been independently released for this
vulnerability (


This exploit was tested with version 5.11 of Winamp. Previous versions
were tested and found to not be exploitable.


Removing the file associations for the m3u and pls file extension may
mitigate the risk of exploitation.


The vendor has not responded to communication regarding this

The vulnerability appears to have been silently fixed in Winamp 5.13
which is available for download at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2006-0476 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


12/15/2005 Initial vendor notification
02/01/2006 Public disclosure


This vulnerability was independently discovered by Alan Mccaig (b0f) and Ruben Santamarta (

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Copyright © 2006 Verisign, Inc.

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