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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?