Public Vulnerability Reports

Microsoft Windows GDI+ TIFF File Parsing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



The GDI+ library 'GdiPlus.dll' provides access to a number of graphics methods, via a class based API. For more information on GDI+, please visit following URL.

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) is a container format for storing images. For more information about TIFF, please visit following URL.


Remote exploitation of a heap based buffer overflow vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows GDI+ could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.

This vulnerability occurs when parsing a malformed TIFF file. By supplying incorrect values in a BitsPerSample tag, it is possible to trigger a heap based buffer overflow.


Successful exploitation allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user. Social engineering is required, as an attacker must trick a user into viewing an image in the Web Browser, viewing an e-mail with embedded image, opening an office file with embbeded image, or downloading an image file and opening it within a graphics rendering program.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in Windows XP Service Pack 2. Please see the Microsoft bulletin for additional details on affected software.


The following workarounds can be employed to mitigate exposure to this vulnerability:

  • Restrict access to gdiplus.dll
  • Unregister vgx.dll

Instructions for employing/removing these workarounds can be found in the bulletin.


Microsoft has released a patch which addresses this issue. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2009-2502 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


12/18/2007 - Initial Contact
12/18/2007 - Initial Response
12/19/2007 - PoC Requested
12/19/2007 - PoC Sent
01/14/2008 - Status update received
03/27/2008 - Status update requested
03/28/2008 - Status update received - no estimated release date
04/28/2008 - Status update requested
04/28/2008 - Status update received - no estimated release date
01/11/2009 - Vendor states updates being silently released soon, estimates "Summer" bulletin release
02/26/2009 - Vendor proposed tentative disclosure date of 08/11/2009
03/05/2009 - Status update requested
04/23/2009 - Vendor reset disclosure to 10/13/2009
10/13/2009 - Coordinated public disclosure.


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by wushi of team509.

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