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Security Advisories: GSA_kwCzR0hTQS12dzI3LWZ3amYtNXF4bc0Wqg

Arbitrary command execution on Windows via qutebrowserurl: URL handler


Starting with qutebrowser v1.7.0, the Windows installer for qutebrowser registers it as a handler for certain URL schemes. With some applications such as Outlook Desktop, opening a specially crafted URL can lead to argument injection, allowing execution of qutebrowser commands, which in turn allows arbitrary code execution via commands such as :spawn or :debug-pyeval.

Only Windows installs where qutebrowser is registered as URL handler are affected. It does not have to be set as default browser for the exploit to work.


The issue has been fixed in qutebrowser v2.4.0 in commit 8f46ba3f6dc7b18375f7aa63c48a1fe461190430.

The fix also adds additional hardening for potential similar issues on Linux (by adding the new --untrusted-args flag to the .desktop file), though no such vulnerabilities are known.

Backported patches for older versions are available, but no further releases are planned:

(commits are referring to qutebrowser/qutebrowser on GitHub)


Remove qutebrowser from the default browser settings entirely, so that it does not handle any kind of URLs. Make sure to remove all handlers, including an (accidental) qutebrowserURL handler, e.g. using NirSoft URLProtocolView.


2021-10-15: Issue reported via [email protected] by Ping Fan (Zetta) Ke of Valkyrie-X Security Research Group (VXRL) 2021-10-15: Issue confirmed by @The-Compiler (lead developer), author of installer (@bitraid) contacted for help/review 2021-10-15: CVE assigned by GitHub 2021-10-15 to 2021-10-17: Fix developed 2021-10-17: Additional core developer (@toofar) contacted for help/review 2021-10-21: v2.4.0 released containing the fix 2021-10-21: Advisory and fix published


See the commit message for additional information and references to various similar issues in other projects.


Thanks to Ping Fan (Zetta) Ke of Valkyrie-X Security Research Group (VXRL/@vxresearch) for finding and responsibly disclosing this issue.


If you have any questions or comments about this advisory, please email [email protected].

Source: GitHub Advisory Database
Origin: Unspecified
Severity: High
Classification: General
Published: about 2 years ago
Updated: 10 months ago

CVSS Score: 8.8
CVSS vector: CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H

Identifiers: GHSA-vw27-fwjf-5qxm, CVE-2021-41146

Affected Packages

Versions: >= 1.7.0, < 2.4.0
Fixed in: 2.4.0