Libcue, an open-source library providing an API for parsing and extracting data from CUE sheets, holds a significant importance in various media applications. Its widespread use has attracted the attention of security researchers and malicious actors alike. Recently, a severe out-of-bounds array access vulnerability has been discovered in libcue versions 2.2.1 and prior. This vulnerability, assigned the identifier CVE-2023-43641, potentially exposes GNOME desktop users to risks of malicious attacks.

Exploit Details

The exploit takes advantage of the automatic scanning performed by GNOME's tracker-miners for downloaded files. Specifically, when a user downloads a malicious CUE sheet from a webpage, the file is saved in the ~/Downloads folder, which is then scanned by tracker-miners. Since the file has a .cue extension, libcue is used to parse the problematic file. This process leads to exploiting the out-of-bounds array access vulnerability, allowing the attacker to execute malicious code on the user's system.

Here's a sample snippet of the vulnerable code

int vulnerable_function(char *input_data, int input_length) {
    int index = ;
    int array_length = 256;
    char buffer[array_length];

    while (index < input_length) {
        if (input_data[index] == SPECIAL_CHAR) {
            index += 2;
        } else {
            buffer[index] = input_data[index];

    return buffer;

In the above code snippet, the vulnerable_function function takes an input data buffer and its length as arguments. No proper boundary checks are performed on this input buffer, which might cause the loop to access the memory beyond the limits of the buffer (i.e., out-of-bounds).

Original References

The vulnerability was initially reported on CVE Details website, providing a comprehensive description of the issue along with the list of affected versions. Detailed information about the technical aspects of the vulnerability can be found on the MITRE CVE entry.

Patched Version

The vulnerability has been addressed and patched in libcue version 2.3.. Users are urged to update their systems to the latest version in order to safeguard against potential attacks exploiting this vulnerability. The updated source code can be found on the libcue GitHub repository.


This vulnerability, CVE-2023-43641, serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of maintaining robust security measures in software components handling sensitive tasks. Users of affected libcue versions must update their systems without delay. Further, developers should be mindful of potential security risks associated with their software and should adhere to security best practices while writing code to avoid such pitfalls in the future.


Published on: 10/09/2023 22:15:12 UTC
Last modified on: 10/27/2023 17:53:23 UTC