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Sophos Anti-Virus Petite File Denial of Service Vulnerability



Sophos Anti-Virus is comprehensive scanning solution used to protect users from viruses, malicious code, ad-ware, trojans, and more. For more information see their website at http://sophos.com/


Remote exploitation of a denial of service vulnerability in version 5.1 of Sophos Anti-Virus could result in unusable system conditions.

The problem manifests itself when the scanning engine encounters an executable compressed with petite that contains a large number of sections.


Successful exploitation would result in the scanning engine attempting to allocate an extremely large amount of memory resulting in memory exhaustion on the system in question. The auto-scan features of Sophos Anti-Virus will attempt to scan files on access.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this issue with Sophos Anti-Virus 5.1 for Windows as well as version 5 for Linux. It is suspected that earlier versions and other architectures are also vulnerable.


iDefense is unaware for any effective workarounds for this issue.


Sophos recommends upgrading to an unaffected version of the scan engine. For more information consult the following support article. http://www.sophos.com/support/knowledgebase/article/7609.html


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2006-4839 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org),which standardizes names for security problems.


09/15/2006 Initial vendor notification
09/19/2006 Initial vendor response
10/31/2006 Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by Damian Put <pucik@overflow.pl>.

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Copyright © 2006 Verisign, Inc.

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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.