AOL says flaw makes messaging vulnerable

By : |January 2, 2002 0

NEW YORK: A security flaw in AOL Time Warner’s messenger program allows hackers to take control of a target’s computer, The Associated Press reported, citing security researchers and the company.

The problem plagues new and many earlier versions of Instant Messenger, with millions of clients around the world. The AP quoted an AOL spokesman as saying that the problem, known as “buffer overflow”, will be fixed within the next few days. Spokespeople could not be immediately reached for comment.

Hackers attack victims by flooding the program with junk messages and overwhelm the software, the AP said, adding that the hacker then has free run of the victim’s computer. The issue is similar to a problem recently found in Microsoft Corporation’s Windows XP, it said.

The Associated Press quoted a computer expert as saying that until AOL fixes the problem, Instant Messenger users should keep incoming messages to friends on their Buddy List.

(C) Reuters Limited.

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