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Media players hit by buffer overflow glitch

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Users of popular media player packages from RealNetworks and Apple have been urged to update their software in the wake of separate warnings of potentially troublesome security problems from both companies.

In an advisory updated last week, RealNetworks warns that by creating a specifically-corrupted PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file, it is possible to cause heap corruption to occur. This in turn enables an attacker to execute arbitrary code on a user's machine.

"This vulnerability was due to the usage of an older, vulnerable version of a data-compression library within the RealPix component of the Player. The vulnerability was fixed by using an updated (non-vulnerable) version of this data-compression library in RealPix," the company explains.

Although RealNetworks is unaware of any exploitation of the flaw, the problem still creates a mechanism for compromising the machines of users running many of its most popular media player packages.

RealOne Player and RealOne Player v2 for Windows, RealPlayer 8 for Windows, RealPlayer 8 for Mac OS 9, RealOne Player for Mac OS X, RealOne Enterprise Desktop Manager and RealOne Enterprise Desktop all need patching. The Helix DNA Client is not affected.

Meanwhile a URL buffer overflow risk with Apple's QuickTime media player, publicised earlier this week, could allow crackes to inject malicious code into vulnerable systems.

This problem, unrelated to the RealNetworks glitch, is explained in greater depth in an advisory by security outfit iDefense.

The vulnerability is Windows specific (Mac users are immune) and affects QuickTime Player versions 5.x and 6.0 on Windows. Users are encouraged to upgrade to QuickTime 6.1 for Windows, which addresses the vulnerability.

Apple's security page can be found here. ®

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