transfig fig2dev Utility Buffer Underwrite Vulnerability [CVE-2018-16140]

CVE Number – CVE-2018-16140

A vulnerability in the fig2dev utility of transfig could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on a targeted system.The vulnerability is due to a buffer underwrite condition in the get_line() function, as defined in the read.c source code file of the affected software. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by persuading a local user to process a crafted FIG file on the targeted system. A successful exploit could cause a buffer underwrite 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.

The vendor has confirmed the vulnerability and software updates are available.


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


  • Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.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.

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Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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