Security Alerts Roundup: IE, Skype, Winamp

Unpatched vulnerabilities have been found in three widely deployed Internet-facing applications.


A private security researcher has discovered a possible remote code execution bug in the way Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer browser renders certain images.

Researcher Michal Zalewski warned in a mailing list entry that during a 30-minute experiment, he found a bug in the browsers image decompression and parsing routines.

"This experiment resulted in identifying a potential remote code execution path in Microsoft Internet Explorer, plus some other bugs, and should be a good starting point for further testing of other browsers or similar programs," he said.

In the alert, Zalewski provided examples of images that can crash fully patched versions of IE, but made it clear that he had not reported his findings to Microsoft.

"It is my experience that reporting and discussing security problems with Microsoft is a needlessly lengthy process that puts too much burden and effort on the researchers end, especially if you just have a crash case, not a working exploit; hence, they did not get an advance notice," he added.


A security flaw in Skype for Linux could put users at risk of privilege escalation attacks, according to an advisory from researcher Giovanni Delvecchio.

The vulnerability in the popular telephony program is caused due to the temporary file "/tmp/skype_profile.jpg" being created insecurely. This can be exploited via symlink attacks to create or overwrite arbitrary files with the privileges of the user running the affected application.

Delvecchio has confirmed the vulnerability in Skype for Linux version Prior versions may also be affected.

As a temporary workaround, users are urged to avoid granting untrusted users access to an affected system.


An unpatched buffer overflow in the popular Winamp media player could put millions of users at risk of code execution attacks, according to a warning from the LSS Security team.

In an advisory, LSS researcher Leon Juranic said the vulnerability is caused by a boundary error in the way Winamp handles ID3v2 tags in MP3 files.

"Successful exploitation allows execution of arbitrary code, but requires some user interaction," according to alerts aggregator Secunia Inc.

Secunia rated the flaw as "highly critical" and said users of Winamp versions 5.03a, 5.09 and 5.091 were at risk. Winamp plans to issue a fixed version soon.

In the absence of a patch, Winamp users are urged to avoid opening MP3 files from untrusted sources.


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