In this post, we will be discussing the recently discovered vulnerability CVE-2022-46285, which affects the libXpm library used in various applications. This flaw is particularly concerning as it can lead to a Denial of Service (DoS) attack on the applications linked to this library. We will delve deeper into the specifics of the exploit, the relevant code snippets, and what steps you can take to mitigate your risk.


The libXpm library is a popular choice for handling X PixMap (XPM) images in applications, particularly those related to the X Window System. Due to its widespread usage, vulnerabilities in this library have significant implications for numerous applications.

The Flaw

The flaw under discussion, CVE-2022-46285, arises when a file with an unclosed comment is parsed by libXpm. When the end-of-file (EOF) isn't detected properly, an infinite loop is triggered, causing any application linked to the library to hang indefinitely. This ultimately results in a Denial of Service condition, rendering the application non-responsive.

The Code Snippet

The following code snippet demonstrates where the issue resides within libXpm (found in the xpmParseComment function):

while ((c = xpmGetC(ldata)) != XPM_EOF) {
    if (c == '*') {
        while ((c = xpmGetC(ldata)) == '*') { }

        if (c == '/')

As you can see, the code reads characters from the input ldata. If the end-of-file is never reached or detected due to an unclosed comment, the loop runs indefinitely, causing the application using the library to hang.

For further details on this vulnerability, you can consult the following resources

- Original CVE Details:
- LibXpm Official Repository:

Mitigation and Conclusion

The best mitigation for this vulnerability is to update your libXpm library to the latest available version, as it should have addressed the issue. If an update is not yet available, you should consider employing security measures such as input validation or using alternative libraries for parsing XPM files.

In conclusion, CVE-2022-46285 demonstrates the importance of vigilance when it comes to third-party libraries used in applications. By staying informed about vulnerabilities and taking the necessary steps to protect your applications, you can mitigate the security risks associated with these libraries, and ensure a safer user experience for your customers.


Published on: 02/07/2023 19:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 03/03/2023 16:15:00 UTC