• CVE-2022-36086


What kind of vulnerability is it? Who is impacted?

This vulnerability impacts all the initialization functions on the Heap and LockedHeap types, including Heap::new, Heap::init, Heap::init_from_slice, and LockedHeap::new. It also affects multiple uses of the Heap::extend method.

Initialization Functions

The heap initialization methods were missing a minimum size check for the given heap size argument. This could lead to out-of-bound writes when a heap was initialized with a size smaller than 3 * size_of::<usize> because of metadata write operations.


This vulnerability impacts three specific uses of the Heap::extend method:

  • When calling Heap::extend with a size smaller than two usizes (e.g., 16 on x86_64), the size was erroneously rounded up to the minimum size, which could result in an out-of-bounds write.
  • Calling Heap::extend on an empty heap tried to construct a heap starting at address 0, which is also an out-of-bounds write.
    • One specific way to trigger this accidentally is to call Heap::new (or a similar constructor) with a heap size that is smaller than two usizes. This was treated as an empty heap as well.
  • Calling Heap::extend on a heap whose size is not a multiple of the size of two usizes resulted in unaligned writes. It also left the heap in an unexpected state, which might lead to subsequent issues. We did not find a way to exploit this undefined behavior yet (apart from DoS on platforms that fault on unaligned writes).


Has the problem been patched? What versions should users upgrade to?

We published a patch in version 0.10.2 and recommend all users to upgrade to it. This patch release includes the following changes:

  • The initialization functions now panic if the given size is not large enough to store the necessary metadata. Depending on the alignment of the heap bottom pointer, the minimum size is between 2 * size_of::<usize> and 3 * size_of::<usize>.
  • The extend method now panics when trying to extend an unitialized heap.
  • Extend calls with a size smaller than size_of::<usize>() * 2 are now buffered internally and not added to the list directly. The buffered region will be merged with future extend calls.
  • The size() method now returns the usable size of the heap, which might be slightly smaller than the top() - bottom() difference because of alignment constraints.


Is there a way for users to fix or remediate the vulnerability without upgrading?

To avoid this issue, ensure that the heap is only initialized with a size larger than 3 * size_of::<usize> and that the Heap::extend method is only called with sizes larger than 2 * size_of::<usize>(). Also, ensure that the total heap size is (and stays) a multiple of 2 * size_of::<usize>().

For more information

If you have any questions or comments about this advisory: * Open an issue in this repository * Email @phil-opp at


This issue was responsibly reported by Evan Richter at ForAllSecure and found with Mayhem and cargo fuzz.


Affected packages / linked_list_allocator


Affected ranges


Affected versions

Database specific

    "last_known_affected_version_range": "<= 0.10.1"