RealPlayer vulnerable in Internet Explorer

Researcher finds a serious flaw in an ActiveX component used by the popular media player.

If you use the RealPlayer on Internet Explorer, watch out. Researcher Elazar Broad has posted to the Full Disclosure mailing list a so-called heap overflow vulnerability that makes it possible for an attacker to modify heap blocks after they are freed and overwrite certain registers. This could allow code execution on a compromised machine. The vulnerability affects all versions of RealPlayer running under Internet Explorer.

Exploit code for this flaw has not yet been made public.

Without a patch from RealPlayer, security experts recommend disabling the killbit for the following ActiveX ClassIDs:

  • 2F542A2E-EDC9-4BF7-8CB1-87C9919F7F93
  • CFCDAA03-8BE4-11CF-B84B-0020AFBBCCFA
Please note that disabling the killbits above will also remove some functionality within the player.

To avoid the loss of functionality, security experts recommend using RealPlayer in a browser that doesn't support ActiveX, such as Mozilla Firefox (for Windows and Mac).

About the author

    As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.


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