Feeds

MS warns of forced Messenger update

More fallout from ATL snafu

Website security in corporate America

Microsoft has outlined plans to push a mandatory Windows Live Messenger upgrade in order to plug a security hole related to a vulnerable code library.

The security vulnerability stems from the use of a vulnerable version of Microsoft's Active Template Library (ATL). A programming error involving the inclusion of an extra "&" character meant that any software packages that made use of the ATL library template inherited a critical software flaw.

Software developers across the IT industry used the vulnerable ATL library to write application components, or more specifically Component Object Model code, including ActiveX controls.

In late July, Microsoft issued a pair of out of sequence patches to fix the ATL bug in Internet Explorer and Visual Studio, its development platform. As part of the August patch Tuesday update, Microsoft patched five more software packages to defend against bugs stemming from the ATL snafu.

Windows Live Messenger 8.1 and 8.5 are both also vulnerable as a result of the same ATL problem. Microsoft has already begun offering a voluntary update but, starting later this month, will force users to upgrade to the the latest version of Live Messenger if they want to use Microsoft's IM service.

Users already on version 14 of Live Messenger will also be pushed towards the latest variant, version 14.0.8089, but mandatory updates in these cases won't happen until late October, as explained in a blog post by Microsoft here.

Microsoft's post on its Windows Live blog goes on to explain the featured improvements in the new version of Windows Live Messenger, including improved photo sharing and personalisation features. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.