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Naughty JavaScript can be planted in IM status messages

Technique shown for ICQ as well as Skype

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Security shortcomings in both ICQ instant messenger for Windows and the ICQ website create a possible mechanism for account hijacking, a security researcher warns.

Levent Kayan warns that the software fails to screen against the inclusion of JavaScript code in user-supplied status messages. The shortcoming means that this JavaScript code might be run on a victim's machine providing they are tricked into opening the booby-trapped status message using a vulnerable ICQ client.

The technique might be used to steal session cookies, enabling the hijacker to impersonate victims, or (with greater difficulty) to gain access to local files on a compromised PC. Kayan found a similar cross-site scripting flaw involving Skype earlier this month.

Heise Security was able to reproduce the flaw discovered by Kayan using the current 7.5 version of ICQ. ICQ told the security news site that it was in the process of developing and testing a security fix. ®

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