Feeds

Skype blocks poison movie peril

Video pwnd the radio star

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Skype said it has blocked a bug that created a means for hackers to attack vulnerable Windows PCs using malicious video files.

The cross-zone scripting vulnerability involves the interaction between Skype and video-sharing sites such as DailyMotion, which allows users to download video clips and add them to their Skype VoIP client. The vulnerability had the potential to affect users of Skype 3.5 and 3.6 for Windows who used Skype’s video gallery to access booby-trapped DailyMotion videos.

The flaw, said to affect online video site MetaCafe as well as DailyMotion, came to light in a post by security researcher Miroslav Lucinskij to a full-disclosure mailing list on Thursday. For example, the security bug makes it possible to inject a malicious script to the "Add video to chat" dialogue using the title field of DailyMotion movie clips.

"This means that an attacker can now upload a movie, set a kewl popular keyword (e.g. 'Paris Hilton'), and own any user that will search for a video with those keywords through Skype," explains Israeli security researcher Aviv Raff, who has published a harmless proof-of-concept demo to illustrate concern about the bug.

Raff blames a poor security architecture in how Skype hooks into Internet Explorer for the vulnerability. Skype uses Internet Explorer web control within the application to render internal and external HTML pages.

Skype is running these web controls in Local Zone and, worse, accessing HTML pages in an unlocked Local Zone mode, Raff explained.

Other security researchers agreed with Raff that the bug opens the door up to all sorts of mischief. "The attack vector is a bit convoluted, but very much possible and quite practical," said Petko Petkov, a UK-based penetration tester. "The most obvious approaches would be to either social engineer the user or spam DailyMotion with hundreds of infected movies that correspond to popular keywords."

The eBay VoIP subsidiary said that the vulnerability was "neutralized before attackers took advantage of it". Skype said on Friday that it has temporarily disabled users' ability to add videos from the DailyMotion gallery until an official fix has been made available. In turn, DailyMotion is addressing the vulnerability on their website, it added. A security advisory from Skype on the vulnerability can be found here.

Petkov criticised Skype's security architecture more generally. He suggested that unencrypted data within Skype's ads created a means for hackers to taint ad traffic with malware by using packet injection tools such as Airpwn in environments such as public wireless hotspots. Skype is yet to respond to our request for comment on this by tapas time. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.