Mac OS X WebDAV kernel extension local denial-of-service Jul 26 2010 01:11PM
Dan Rosenberg (dan j rosenberg gmail com)
 Mac OS X WebDAV kernel extension local denial-of-service
 July 26, 2010


"Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning, or WebDAV, is a set
of extensions to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol that allows computer
users to edit and manage files collaboratively on remote World Wide
Web servers." [1]

Mac OS X supports WebDAV shares natively as a filesystem, implemented
as a kernel extension.  Local users can mount WebDAV shares using the
"mount_webdav" utility included in most default installations.

The WebDAV kernel extension is vulnerable to a denial-of-service issue
that allows a local unprivileged user to trigger a kernel panic due to
a memory overallocation.  This vulnerability has been verified with
proof-of-concept code.  The vulnerable code is in the webdav_mount()
function, and reads as:

MALLOC(fmp->pm_socket_name, struct sockaddr *, args.pa_socket_namelen,

"args" is a user-controlled struct provided as an argument to a
request to mount a WebDAV share, and there is no checking of the
"pa_socket_namelen" field.  If a user were to issue a mount request
with a very large value for this field, this will trigger a kernel
panic, since in BSD-based kernels (such as XNU), MALLOC() with
M_WAITOK will result in a panic when the requested memory cannot be

==Notes on Disclosure==

My disclosure of this issue prior to an official fix is not meant to
be taken as a statement against Apple's management of security issues.
Local denial-of-service issues are by nature low impact - many
security teams do not regard these as security-relevant at all.  I
believe the chances of exploitation of this in real life are
practically non-existent.  Given that the vulnerability resides in an
open source kernel extension, I chose to disclose this issue so that
concerned administrators can apply a fix immediately, while the rest
of us can benefit from a little increased awareness of potentially
unsafe memory allocation situations.  Apple's security team was
contacted prior to disclosure, and I'm sure they'll incorporate a fix
in a future release.


The WebDAV kernel extension can be obtained online [2].  The following
patch can be applied to this extension, after which it should be
recompiled to replace the existing extension at

--- webdav_fs.kextproj.orig/webdav_fs.kmodproj/webdav_vfsops.c
2010-07-21 09:51:09.000000000 -0400
+++ webdav_fs.kextproj/webdav_fs.kmodproj/webdav_vfsops.c
2010-07-21 10:32:43.000000000 -0400
@@ -319,6 +319,12 @@ static int webdav_mount(struct mount *mp

     /* Get the server sockaddr from the args */
+    if(args.pa_socket_namelen > NAME_MAX)
+    {
+        error = EINVAL;
+        goto bad;
+    }
     MALLOC(fmp->pm_socket_name, struct sockaddr *,
args.pa_socket_namelen, M_TEMP, M_WAITOK);
     error = copyin(args.pa_socket_name, fmp->pm_socket_name,
     if (error)


This vulnerability was discovered by Dan Rosenberg (dan.j.rosenberg (at) gmail (dot) com [email concealed]).


CVE identifier CVE-2010-1794 has been assigned to this issue by Apple.


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