The function PEM_read_bio_ex() reads a PEM file from a BIO and parses and decodes the "name" (e.g. "CERTIFICATE"), any header data and the payload data. If the function succeeds then the "name_out", "header" and "data" arguments are populated with pointers to buffers containing the relevant decoded data. The caller is responsible for freeing those buffers. It is possible to construct a PEM file that results in 0 bytes of payload data. In this case PEM_read_bio_ex() will return a failure code but will populate the header argument with a pointer to a buffer that has already been freed. If the caller also frees this buffer then a double free will occur. This will most likely lead to a crash. This could be exploited by an attacker who has the ability to supply malicious PEM files for parsing to achieve a denial of service attack. The functions PEM_read_bio() and PEM_read() are simple wrappers around PEM_read_bio_ex() and therefore these functions are also directly affected. These functions are also called indirectly by a number of other OpenSSL functions including PEM_X509_INFO_read_bio_ex() and SSL_CTX_use_serverinfo_file() which are also vulnerable. Some OpenSSL internal uses of these functions are not vulnerable because the caller does not free the header argument if PEM_read_bio_ex() returns a failure code. These locations include the PEM_read_bio_TYPE() functions as well as the decoders introduced in OpenSSL 3.0. The OpenSSL asn1parse command line application is also impacted by this issue.



Source: Mitre, NVD

Published: 2023-02-08

Updated: 2024-02-04

Risk Information


Base Score: 7.8

Vector: CVSS2#AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:N/I:N/A:C

Severity: High


Base Score: 7.5

Vector: CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H

Severity: High