CVE-2021-22545: A CVE from BinDiff & IDA Pro

Last year, I used the BinDiff plugin normally inside the IDA Pro, but I got a crash due to the plugin issue. Then a dialog prompted and I choosed to Let IDA Continue, then I got another weird crash. Yes, 2 different issues from BinDiff plugin & IDA Pro, just triggered by a bindiff file. Driven by my curiosity, I tried to find the root cause and got this CVE here :


And the acknowledgment from BinDiff release notes :


First issue from BinDiff: OOB Read

Reproduce the first crash

Open one i64 file with the IDA7.5 (tested with sp3), then press ctrl+6 to open the bindiff plugin, then click the Load Results button and select the bindiff file which leads to crash. Then a dialog prompts:


If I choose Let IDA crash, I will get a crash log like this:



Root Cause

The crash point is at line 1421 of the function security::bindiff::Results::Count():


We can see the global const variable security::bindiff::CallGraph::kInvalidVertex = 0x7FFFFFFF


0x7FFFFFFF*80=0x27ffffffb0=rax is the invalid offset, which results to the OOB Read.

Further Research

Actually, the hardcoded offset seems hard to exploit, but the size of the overflowed buffer is an attacker controllable variable. And this could make the issue exploitable.

The type of the overflowed buffer vertices is std::vector<security::bindiff::CallGraph::VertexInfo>, and here is the constructor function:


And we can see the limitation for the vector size is 0x333333333333334LL, the final memory size limitation is 0x333333333333334LL * 80.

Through debugging, I found the size is 0x468 in this case. It is the number of the vertices, fetched from a BinExport file:


Second issue from IDA Pro: IDAFormDialog Object UAF on the stack

Reproduce the second crash

Do the same operations as described before, and when it prompts, choose the button Just continue. Then we will get another weird crash :



The RIP register value indicated that it was trying to execute code on the stack, and then crashed because the stack is not executable.

Root Cause

  • Press ctrl+6 will construct a new IDAFormDialog object for the plugin, and it is a C++ object on the stack.


  • During the phase of the plugin loading data, the plugin bug will generate a segment fault exception (SIGNAL Number 11), which could crash the process.

  • Then the exception will be handled by the signal-handling function in the ida64 module:


  • If the user click Just continue rather than Let IDA crash, It will call longjmp at line 62.

    The jump target is in the program’s main function:


    At this time, notice that the stack pointer register RSP had be switched to the stack frame of the MainLoop function. Which means the old stack objects, like the IDAFormDialog had been freed.

  • Then the stack object had been overwritten too many times by calling some child functions, and its virtual functions table has been changed to the stack!!!


  • Finally, QT::QListData::dispose will call the function QT::QMetaObject::cast with the IDAFormDialog object as the parameter. The execution flow has been transfered to the stack memory.



I am familiar with the exception dispatching flow for the SEH on the Windows system.

void test() {
	__try {
		// do something on the stack
		*(int *)0 = 0;
	__finally {
		// free the resources on the stack

void main() {
    __try {
    __except(1) {
        // handle the exception here

Before the exception handler getting executed, it is our duty to to tell the system how to destruct and free our stack objects correctly during the exception stack unwinding.

Now in the macOS system, signal handler functions may not help us do this operation. If we want to continue the execution after handling the exception, I think we have to do it manually. Otherwise, the UAF on the stack issue may happen.

Written on August 14, 2021