Security Leaks Discovered in Pidgin

Aug 20, 2009

The free instant messaging client Pidgin has closed security leaks in the Linux versions 2.6.0 and 2.6.1 that appeared in connection with MSN.

One of the leaks could be used to activate code remotely and cause the system to crash. The user would have to be connected to MSN at the time Using specially prepared messages, attackers could cause damage via the buffer overflow, as reported in Pidgin's Security Advisory. The developers advise that version 2.6.1 has fixed the problem. Versions 2.6.0 and 2.5.9 are considered safe. The latter is available as source code only and meant for distributors who don't want to update to 2.6.

Discoverers of the leak point towards the Libpurple library as cause of the problem and claim that other instant messengers using Libpurple in version 2.6.0 are at risk. This also includes the MAC OS client Adium in versions 1.3.5 and smaller.

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