Vulnerability discovered by Marcin Noga, Lilith Wyatt and Aleksandar Nikolic of Cisco Talos.

Overview Talos has discovered multiple vulnerabilities in the Poppler PDF library. Exploiting these vulnerabilities can allow an attacker to gain full control over the victim's machine. If an attacker builds a specially crafted PDF document and the victim opens it, the attackers code will be executed with the privileges of the local user.


Poppler is a shared library for displaying PDF files, used as middleware within different enterprise and open source solutions (e.g. Gimp). It is forked off from XPDF and is a complete implementation of the PDF ISO standard. Talos identified three remote code execution vulnerabilities in the Poppler library.

TALOS-2017-0311 / CVE-2017-2814 - Poppler PDF Image Display DCTStream::readScan() Code Execution Vulnerability

An exploitable heap overflow vulnerability exists in the image rendering functionality of Poppler-0.53.0. A specifically crafted PDF can cause an image resizing after allocation has already occurred, resulting in a heap corruption triggered in the DCTStream::readScan() function. This can lead to code execution with the local user rights.

TALOS-2017-0319 / CVE-2017-2818 - Poppler PDF Image Display DCTStream::readProgressiveSOF() Code Execution Vulnerability

Talos found an exploitable heap overflow vulnerability in the image rendering functionality of Poppler-0.53.0. A specifically crafted PDF can cause an overly large number of color components during image rendering, resulting in a heap corruption. This can be used by an attacker to craft a PDF file that executes malicious code on the victim's computer with the rights of the local user.

This vulnerability was formerly found (CVE-2005-3627), with a fix applied to DCTStream::readBaselineSOF, however the bug was missed in the readProgressiveSOF function.

TALOS-2017-0321 / CVE-2017-2820 - Poppler PDF library JPEG2000 levels Code Execution Vulnerability

Talos discovered an exploitable integer overflow vulnerability in the JPEG 2000 image parsing functionality of the Poppler 0.53.0 library. An attacker can build a specially crafted PDF file that uses this bug to trigger an integer overflow. Later in the code execution flow, this can lead to memory getting overwritten on the heap resulting in a potential arbitrary code execution with the rights of the local user. Like with the other two vulnerabilities before, a victim must open the malicious PDF in an application using this library to exploit this vulnerability. One example of a vulnerable application is the default PDF reader Evince, shipped with the latest version of Ubuntu Linux.

Talos is seeing client side attacks based on malicious PDF files on a daily base. If your company is using a Popper based application, it is possible that an attacker could use one of these vulnerabilities against it in a targeted attack. This shows how important it is to keep all applications up to date and not only the operation system.

More technical details can be found in the Talos Vulnerability Reports:





The following Snort Rules will detect exploitation attempts of this vulnerability. Note that additional rules may be released at a future date and current rules are subject to change pending additional vulnerability information. For the most current rule information, please refer to your FireSIGHT Management Center or

Snort rules:  42273-42274, 42319 - 42320 , 42352-42353