An audit revealed dozen vulnerabilities in the cURL

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Security experts who conducted an audit on cURL discovered nearly a dozen vulnerabilities that were patched in the last release. The cURL (read “see URL”) is an open source command line tool and library designed for transferring data through various protocols.

The cURL is included in a wide range of applications, including networking devices, printers, smartphones, IoT devices and even cars.

Recently Daniel Stenberg, lead developer of cURL and Mozilla employee, requested a security audit of cURL from the Mozilla Secure Open Source (SOS) program.

“I asked for, and we were granted a security audit of curl from the Mozilla Secure Open Source program a while ago. This was done by Mozilla getting a 3rd party company involved to do the job and footing the bill for it. The auditing company is called Cure53.” wrote Stenberg in a blog post. “I applied for the security audit because I feel that we’ve had some security related issues lately and I’ve had the feeling that we might be missing something so it would be really good to get some experts’ eyes on the code,”

Five experts at the security services provider Cure53 conducted an audit that lasted 20 days and revealed a total of 23 issues.

The issued discovered by the experts include nine security flaws. Two security vulnerabilities were merged by the experts and one of them was classified as a “plain bug” because its exploitation is very hard in a real attack scenario.

Four vulnerabilities have been rated “high severity” and four are considered “medium severity.”

“The assessment of the tool was performed by Cure53 as part of the Mozilla’s Secure Open Source track program. The results of the project encompass twenty-three security-relevant discoveries.” reads the Pentest-Report cURL 08.2016 published by Cure53.”As for the approach, the test was rooted in the public availability of the source code belonging to the cURL software and the investigation involved five testers of the Cure53 team. “


The high severity flaws tracked as CVE-2016-8617, CVE-2016-8619, CVE-2016-8622, and CVE-2016-8623, are remote code execution vulnerabilities.

The report states that “the overall impression of the state of security and robustness of the cURL library was positive.”

Anyway, don’t worry! A new version of the software component it available online. The new version 7.51.0 addresses a total of 11 vulnerabilities. The release fixes seven issues found by the Cure53’audit, while the remaining were reported by Luật Nguyễn, Christian Heimes and Fernando Muñoz.

Stenberg highlighted that cURL is one of the most used software products, for this reason, this audit assumes an extraordinary importance for its users.

“Also, as curl is one of the most used software components in the world a serious problem in curl could have a serious impact on tools, devices and applications everywhere. We don’t want that to happen.”