CVE-2018-16131: Denial of Service via unlimited decoding with decodeRequest directive (“zip bomb”)




Directives decodeRequest and decodeRequestWith which handle compressed request data did not limit the amount of uncompressed data flowing out of it. In combination with common request directives like entity(as), toStrict, or formField, this can lead to excessive memory usage ultimately leading to an out of memory situation when highly compressed data is received (so-called “Zip Bomb”).

Any code that uses decodeRequest or decodeRequestWith is likely to be affected.


The CVSS score of this vulnerability is 7.3 (High), based on vector AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H/E:H/RL:W/RC:C.

Rationale for the score:

  • A:H: Server runs into OOM, so availability is highly affected.
  • E:H: It’s relatively simple to exploit.

Affected Versions

All previously released Akka HTTP versions are affected:

  • 10.1.x versions prior to 10.1.5
  • 10.0.x versions prior to 10.0.14
  • Earlier end-of-lifed versions

Not affected:

  • Play and Lagom applications, even though both are using Akka HTTP as their server backend, remain unaffected by this vulnerability. This is because they implement their own content length validations on top of the underlying models (by using BodyParsers).

Fixed Versions

  • 10.1.5
  • 10.0.14
Found an error in this documentation? The source code for this page can be found here. Please feel free to edit and contribute a pull request.