Eudora suffers security scare

Qualcomm has patched serious security vulnerabilities in the Eudora e-mail client that could allow an attacker to take over a Windows system via a specially crafted message.

The bugs affect version 6.2.0 of the application, released in November, and earlier versions. Qualcomm released an update, version 6.2.1, that fixes the bug.

John Heasman of NGS Software discovered the flaws, which only affect the Windows version. They allow an attacker to execute malicious code on a user's system with the privileges of the user running Eudora, when a malicious e-mail is previewed or opened, or when a malicious stationary or mailbox file is opened.

NGS Software said it wouldn't release details of the flaws until 2 May 2005 to give users time to patch the application.

An advisory from Qualcomm was even less specific, only saying that the flaws "could cause Eudora to crash". However, independent security firm Secunia found the problems serious enough to merit a "highly critical" rating.

Eudora was a pioneering example of an easy-to-use e-mail application and became popular based on its advanced features. Its popularity has declined faced with competition from clients bundled with software packages (such as Outlook and Microsoft Office) or included with operating systems (such as Mac OS X's Mail component). It now also faces competition from the open-source community in the form of Thunderbird, released recently by the Mozilla project, which also created the popular Firefox Web browser.

Eudora 6 has been affected by six vulnerabilities since 2003, according to Secunia, of which just over a third allowed system access. Outlook Express 6 has had 10 vulnerabilities in the same time period, of which 31 percent allowed system access. The full version of Outlook has had several additional security holes, but these patches are bundled with Microsoft Office updates.

The security of Apple Computer's OS X mail client is also difficult to measure as patches are included with operating system updates. The most recent OS X security fix, at the end of January, patched a relatively low-risk information disclosure bug in Mail.

Thunderbird has only recently reached its 1.0 release, but the 0.x releases faced 11 security flaws between 2003 and 2005, according to Secunia. Only two of these allowed system access.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matthew Broersma
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

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.

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?