New risk: Bogus MSN Messenger video invites

Last week, it was a webcam flaw in Yahoo Messenger that could leave you vulnerable to attack if you clicked a link to a malicious video conversation invitation. Now, researchers have found a similar hole in Microsoft's MSN Messenger.

(As with the Yahoo Messenger flaw, Ryan Naraine, who publishes the Zero Day blog, was one of the first to spot this one.)

Unlike the Yahoo Messenger hole -- which has been patched -- there is already proof-of-concept exploit code available in what SecurityFocus chillingly calls an "exploit pack." However, the discoverer's site -- team509 -- is mostly in Chinese.

Danish security researcher Secunia rates this as "highly critical" -- their second-highest severity rating. The affected versions are MSN Messenger 7.x and 6.x. Microsoft confirmed it is "investigating" the hole and in the meantime is urging users to upgrade from MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger 8.1, which has been out since February.

An e-mailed statement attributed to Christopher Budd, security program manager for Microsoft, states:

"Our investigation so far shows that the latest version, Windows Live Messenger 8.1, is not vulnerable to this issue .... As a best practice, we always recommend running the most recent version of Windows Live Messenger for the latest security and reliability updates."

Like the Yahoo Messenger flaw, you can be attacked if you click to accept a video conversation invitation that's been booby trapped. The exploit is similar too -- it's another buffer overflow vulnerability. So as always, think before you click.

And while we're waiting for Microsoft to patch this one, it's probably a good idea to upgrade to Windows Live Messenger 8.1.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stuart Johnston

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?