PHP EXIF exif_process_IFD_in_MAKERNOTE maker_note->offset Mishandling Arbitrary Code Execution Vulnerability [CVE-2019-9638]

CVE number – CVE-2019-9638

A vulnerability in the EXIF component of PHP could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system.

The vulnerability is in the exif_process_IFD_in_MAKERNOTE method in the ext/exif/exif.c source code file of the affected software, and is due to an uninitialized read memory operation error by the affected software when handling the maker_note->offset relationship to the value_len variable. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending requests that submit malicious input to the affected software. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code and compromise the targeted system completely. 

The PHP Project has confirmed the vulnerability and released software updates.


  • To exploit this vulnerability, the attacker must send malicious requests to the targeted system, making exploitation more difficult in environments that restrict network access from untrusted sources.


  • Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.

    Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to have network access.

    Administrators are advised to run both firewall and antivirus applications to minimize the potential of inbound and outbound threats.

    Administrators may consider using IP-based access control lists (ACLs) to allow only trusted systems to access the affected systems.

    Administrators can help protect affected systems from external attacks by using a solid firewall strategy.

    Administrators are advised to monitor affected systems.

Vendor Announcements

Fixed Software

  • The PHP Project has released software updates at the following link: PHP Downloads


Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: