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Microsoft MSN Messenger Information Disclosure Vulnerability

Risk

High

Date Discovered

March 9, 2004

Description

Microsoft MSN Messenger is prone to an information disclosure vulnerability. When a malformed file transfer request is initiated by a remote user, they may be able to view the contents of files on the remote system.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft MSN Messenger Service 6.0
  • Microsoft MSN Messenger Service 6.1

Recommendations

Do not accept communications that originate from unknown or untrusted sources.

If anonymous communications are blocked in MSN Messenger, the vulnerability could only be exploited by an attacker on the user's contact list. Blocking the reception of anonymous communications in MSN Messenger may limit the likelihood of exploitation.

When possible, limit the privileges granted to users to the least amount required.

A remote attacker could only view files that the vulnerable user has permissions to view. Limiting user access to sensitive files may help limit the consequences of successful exploitation.

Change the default location of executables, configuration files, directories, etc.

An attacker would have to know the name and location of files in order to view them through this vulnerability. Changing the default location of sensitive files may limit the information an attacker can gather through this vulnerability.
An updated version of MSN Messenger is available for download at: http://messenger.msn.com/

Credits

Discovery is credited to qFox and Mephisto.
Copyright © Symantec Corporation.
Permission to redistribute this alert electronically is granted as long as it is not edited in any way unless authorized by Symantec Security Response. Reprinting the whole or part of this alert in any medium other than electronically requires permission from secure@symantec.com.

Disclaimer
The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.
Symantec, Symantec products, Symantec Security Response, and secure@symantec.com are registered trademarks of Symantec Corp. and/or affiliated companies in the United States and other countries. All other registered and unregistered trademarks represented in this document are the sole property of their respective companies/owners.

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