FreeImage TIFF File Processing TIFFReadDirectory Function Denial of Service Vulnerability [CVE-2019-12213]

CVE number – CVE-2019-12213

A vulnerability in the Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) image processing functionality used by the FreeImage library could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on a targeted system.The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of user-supplied input by the TIFFReadDirectoryfunction, as defined in the PluginTIFF.cpp source code file of the affected software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by persuading a user to open a crafted TIFF file on the targeted system. A successful exploit could cause a stack exhaustion condition, resulting in a DoS condition on the targeted system.Proof-of-concept (PoC) code that demonstrates an exploit of this vulnerability is publicly available.

FreeImage has confirmed the vulnerability; however, software updates are not available.


  • To exploit this vulnerability, the attacker may use misleading language or instructions to persuade a user to open a crafted TIFF file on the targeted system. This access requirement could reduce the likelihood of a successful exploit.


  • Administrators are advised to contact the vendor regarding future updates and releases.

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

    Administrators are advised to use an unprivileged account when browsing the Internet.

    Administrators are advised to monitor critical systems.

    Users are advised not to open email messages from suspicious or unrecognized sources. If users cannot verify that links or attachments included in email messages are safe, they are advised not to open them.

    Users are advised not to visit websites or follow links that have suspicious characteristics or cannot be verified as safe.

Vendor Announcements

Fixed Software

  • At the time this alert was first published, FreeImage had not released a software update.

Duncan Newell

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.

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