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Community News: PHP Remote Exploit - Floating Point Issue Causes Freeze/Crash

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 7 January 2011.
PHPDeveloper

As reported by both The Register and Zend, there's a new remote exploit bug that possibly has something to do with the way 32-bit processors handle floating point numbers.

From Zend:

Due to the way the PHP runtime handles internal conversion of floating point numbers, it is possible for a remote attacker to bring down a web application simply by adding a specific parameter to a query string in their web browser.

The bug, found here on bugs.php.net, has been reproduced on Windows and 32-bit linux systems and can cause the server hang and/or crash as a result. The real issue comes from this bug on the x87 FPU design. The bug has already been fixed in the latest SVN versions (including 5.2 that was end-of-life recently). A release to fix the issue should be coming shortly.