Skype Update Fixes Security Issue

By Larry Seltzer  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Buffer overflow in browser interface could allow a remote attacker to compromise a user's system.

A new release of the Windows version of the Skype VOIP program fixes a bug that could allow a remote attacker to compromise a Skype user's computer.

The new version,, can be downloaded from the Skype Web site.

An advisory from Secunia based on the bug report from Skype calls the bug "highly critical." It states that the bug is caused by an error in the handling of command-line arguments. The problem may be induced by a browser link utilizing the "callto:" URI handler, installed by Skype.

For insights on security coverage around the Web, check out eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer's Weblog.

Such a link would only function for Skype users, and the problem only affects versions 1.0.*.95 through 1.0.*.98, but successful exploitation could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on a user's system.

Check out eWEEK.com's for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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