Public Vulnerability Reports

Adobe Version Cue VCNative Arbitrary Library Loading Vulnerability



Adobe Version Cue is a software version tracking system for Adobe
products distributed with Adobe Creative Suite and select Adobe


Local exploitation of a design error in Adobe Systems, Inc. Version Cue
allows local attackers to gain root privileges. Version Cue includes a
setuid root application named VCNative which contains a design error
that allows local attackers to gain root privileges. The vulnerability
specifically exists due to an unchecked command line option parameter.
The "-lib" command line option allows users to specify library
"bundles" which allows for the introduction of arbitrary code in the
context of a root owned process. The init function in a shared library
is executed immediately upon loading. By utilizing the "-lib" argument
to load a malicious library, local attackers can execute arbitrary code
with root privileges.


Successful exploitation allows local attackers to execute arbitrary
code with root privileges. The attack method is trivial and requires no
specialized exploit code or skill by the attacker. Simply compiling a
shared library with malicious code is all that is required to gain
control of the system.

It should be noted that VCNative must connect to a valid host before
loading libraries. The vulnerability is not exposed if VCNative has not
been configured with a proper host value. In addition, the
vulnerability affects only the Apple OS X platform and is only
installed with Adobe Creative Suite or other Adobe products.


iDEFENSE Labs has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in
Adobe Version Cue version 1 on the Apple OS X platform.


As a workaround solution, remove the setuid bit from the VCNative
binary and execute the application as a root user when necessary.


Adobe Version Cue Update 2 which addresses this vulnerability, is
available for download at:

The vendor advisory for this vulnerability is located at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2005-1843 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


06/27/2005 Initial vendor notification
06/27/2005 Initial vendor response
08/29/2005 Public disclosure


vade79 ( is credited with this discovery.

Get paid for vulnerability research

Free tools, research and upcoming events


Copyright © 2005 Verisign, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email for permission.

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.