CVE-2010-0188: PDF/Form/TIFF

Given the good reception of the last post, I’ve decided to dedicate more time posting use cases for the Profiler. Today we’re going to analyze a PDF exploiting CVE-2010-0188. Quite old as the name can tell, but it doesn’t really matter for the sake of the demonstration. There’s no real criteria why I picked this one in particular, I just downloaded a pack of malicious PDFs from

Opening the Zip archive with the Profiler, I chose a random PDF. It is flagged as risky by the Profiler, because it contains an interactive form. If we take a look at the embedded form it’s easy to recognize an embedded image in it which basically represents the whole data of the form. Let’s load this image as an embedded file:

Embedded TIFF

We need to specify the ‘convert/from_base64‘ filter in order to load the actual data. The content of the image is quite obvious. Lots of repetitive bytes, some suspicious strings and some bytes with higher entropy which a trained eye can easily spot as being x86 instructions.

The repetition of the 0x0C 0x90 sequence is easily identifiable as a slide for the shellcode that follows:

Thus, the space after the slide is the start of the actual shellcode. Let’s disassemble it with the Profiler:

Shellcode disasm

In order to quickly analyze the shellcode we can debug it. We select the portion from 0x134 to 0x29E, press Ctrl+R and run the action ‘Shellcode to executable‘. If you don’t have this action, update your copy of the Profiler.

Shellcode to EXE action

What it does is to create a Portable Executable out from the bytes selected in the hex view, so that we can easily debug them with every debugger.

Shellcode to EXE

Optionally we can specify an application to automatically open the generated file. In this case, as you can see, I have selected OllyDbg.

Here’s the analysis of the shellcode:

Very standard code as you can see. It downloads a file with URLDownloadToFileA, executes it with WinExec and quits.

The next time I’ll try to pick out something more recent.

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