Published: 24 March 2014
The BEGIN regular expression in the awk script detector in magic/Magdir/commands in file before 5.15 uses multiple wildcards with unlimited repetitions, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (CPU consumption) via a crafted ASCII file that triggers a large amount of backtracking, as demonstrated via a file with many newline characters.
see regression fix in DSA-2873-2
introduced in 5.05, but included in Debian specific patch in older releases. The fix for this issue was not complete, resulting in CVE-2014-3538. The proper fix in CVE-2014-3538 is intrusive.