VideoLAN association
A project and a non-profit organization, composed of volunteers, developing and promoting free, open-source multimedia solutions.

Security Advisory 1203

Summary           : Buffer overflow in PNG decoder
Date              : October 2012
Affected versions : VLC media player 2.0.3 and earlier
ID                : VideoLAN-SA-1203
CVE reference     : CVE-2012-5470


When parsing an invalid PNG image file, a buffer overflow might occur.


If successful, a malicious third party could trigger an invalid memory access, leading to a crash of the process of the VLC media player.

Because the overflow occurs while reading a buffer, rather than writing, it is believed that this issue cannot lead to arbitrary code execution.

Threat mitigation

Exploitation of this issue requires the user to explicitly open a specially crafted file.


The user should refrain from opening files from untrusted third parties or accessing untrusted remote sites (or disable the VLC browser plugins), until the patch is applied.

Alternatively, the PNG decoder plugin (libpng_plugin.*) can be removed manually from the VLC plugin installation directory. This will prevent decoding of PNG images.


VLC media player 2.0.4 addresses this issue. Patches for older versions are available from the official VLC source code repository 2.0 and 1.1 branches.


The VideoLAN project
VLC official GIT repository


14 October 2012
Patch for VLC development version.
15 October 2012
VLC media player 2.0.4 released.
2 November 2012
Security advisory published.
CVE reference.
3 November 2012
Security advisory updated.
Rémi Denis-Courmont,
on behalf of the VideoLAN project