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Insecure Library Loading
Highly critical

AOL Instant Messenger "Away" Message Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

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Release Date:  2004-08-09    Last Update:  2004-08-11    Views:  68,845

Secunia Advisory SA12198

Where:

From remote

Impact:

System access

Solution Status:

Vendor Workaround

CVE Reference(s):

Description


Ryan McGeehan has reported a vulnerability in AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a user's system.

The vulnerability is caused due to a boundary error within the handling of "Away" messages and can be exploited to cause a stack-based buffer overflow by supplying an overly long "Away" message (about 1024 bytes). A malicious website can exploit this via the "aim:" URI handler by passing an overly long argument to the "goaway?message" parameter.

Successful exploitation allows execution of arbitrary code on a user's system when e.g. a malicious website is visited with certain browsers.

The vulnerability has been confirmed in version 5.5.3595. Other versions may also be affected.

NOTE: Various other issues were also reported, where a large amount of resources can be consumed on a user's system.


Solution:
The vendor has contacted Secunia and recommends that users install a beta version, which addresses the vulnerability, or remove support for the "aim:" URI handler by deleting the "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\aim" registry key.

Further details available to Secunia VIM customers

Provided and/or discovered by:
The vulnerability was discovered independently by the following around the same time:
1) Ryan McGeehan and Kevin Benes, TheBillyGoatCurse.com.
2) Matt Murphy

Deep Links:
Links available to Secunia VIM customers

Do you have additional information related to this advisory?

Please provide information about patches, mitigating factors, new versions, exploits, faulty patches, links, and other relevant data by posting comments to this Advisory. You can also send this information to vuln@secunia.com

Subject: AOL Instant Messenger "Away" Message Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

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