Improper Restriction of Operations within the Bounds of a Memory Buffer
A buffer overflow was discovered in libxml2 20904-GITv2.9.4-16-g0741801. The function xmlSnprintfElementContent in valid.c is supposed to recursively dump the element content definition into a char buffer 'buf' of size 'size'. The variable len is assigned strlen(buf). If the content->type is XML_ELEMENT_CONTENT_ELEMENT, then (i) the content->prefix is appended to buf (if it actually fits) whereupon (ii) content->name is written to the buffer. However, the check for whether the content->name actually fits also uses 'len' rather than the updated buffer length strlen(buf). This allows us to write about "size" many bytes beyond the allocated memory. This vulnerability causes programs that use libxml2, such as PHP, to crash.
CWE-119 - Buffer Overflow
Buffer overflow attacks involve data transit and operations exceeding the restricted memory buffer, thereby corrupting or overwriting data in adjacent memory locations. Such overflow allows the attacker to run arbitrary code or manipulate the existing code to cause privilege escalation, data breach, denial of service, system crash and even complete system compromise. Given that languages such as C and C++ lack default safeguards against overwriting or accessing data in their memory, applications utilizing these languages are most susceptible to buffer overflows attacks.