October 26th, 2002, 02:36 AM
Protection and Tips MSN Messenger Vulnerabilities!
Welcome to my first tutorial entitled Protection from MSN Messenger Problems. This is going to be a very tiny tutorial on some vulnerabilities that could cause low to high damage if you are running MSN Messenger service. They range from being DoSed, to Virii downloading, to even an old social engineer method for credit card information that I will explain the patch for. I will go into brief details of different vulnerabilities. Thanks, and I hope that you enjoy!
**MSN Messenger Overview**
MSN Messenger was a program created by the wonderful team at Microsoft to be sort of like an AIM (Aol Instant Messenger) type program. It was to coincide with the MSN Explorer, which is a browser and a popular one at that. Users would sign in using their e-mail and password, and could start adding other contacts so they could instant message buddies. The features weren't too bad either. Some features included being able to talk to you buddy, file sending, Multiple person chats, and even being able to play a game that both buddies had, over this program. It is very popular and is widely used. However, and as we know, all programs have bugs. I will now go into the sort of vulnerabilities of MSN Messenger, and then I will describe how to avoid or patch them.
MSNMessenger Vulnerability #1: Knock 'em Off
Something which is relatively new compared to the other's, a couple bugs were found where one user can send a corrupt header to the victim they choose, and instantly crash their victim off of the service and in extreme cases, their computer. One of these methods would be to change your name to have the corrupt header of &#(Name); as a name, which would instantly crash everyone on the list that is online. It took awhile for microsoft to find this bug, and it was a big one because Online Msn crashing was something that quickly became popular. In their newer versions, they have fixed the bug, so the safe thing to do is to update the version you have.
MSNMessenger Vulnerability #2: Crash them With File Send Method
Another one to add to the "popular" Msn crashing pheme, would be the file sending method. Basically, someone would download certain files from the internet (Which were quickly becoming available) and would start using them as programs. The method is basically sending them a corrupt file which is sort of like the header incident. Once they click accept, whether they open it or not, their MSN service crashes. It was a weird method that made M$ start scratching their heads. Finally, it came to them to alter the code to not allow direct attaching links in reguards to file downloading. In short duke, it means they can't send you a file with a corrupt header that would lead to the same thing as the last vulnerability. So basically download latest edition, and like you should anyway, know who you are downloading something from.
MSNMessenger Vulnerability #3: Crashing... Again..
This one is rather short, but dangerous. Basically same as #1, except for the fact that if a group of friends wanted to knock someone offline (not just msn) they would corrupt the header of their name, enter a chat with victim, and start adding their friends (with corrupt headers) into the convo. The victim wouldn't have the header, and the msn would crash, as well as explorer, and in 8/10 cases, the system would crash as well.
MSNMessenger Vulnerability #4: Trust, A Dangerous Enemy.
In this vulnerability, we will compare MSN to AIM. When you want to download something from someone from AIM, it would ask if you trust the person, it would give you the directory of the file it's in, and default settings of AIM lead to a virus scan immediatly after download. Well, sadly, msn doesn't take this procaution. When someone send's a download to you, once you click accept, a tempo file is stored in the msn section of the registry (the msn messenger part). Also, as you might know, you are making the direct connection which would give the IP to the attacker. Well, one attacker decided to code something that sort of pissed of M$ and decided to exploit that specfic code. The attacker would use the IP, attack one of M$'s vulnerabilities, and run the tempo file from the registry, which in turn, run's the virus. This causes a MAJOR problem for M$ and was resolved a month later*. Basically, again, use common sense and don't click accept or anything. Don't click accept and then cancel either. More than likely, the problem is fixed.
MSNMessenger Vulnerability #5: Can I get your Credit Card info, please?
This one is/was an exploit of the passport system. The attacker would create a fake webpage with the msn name in it such as msn.tv or whatever and they would signup for the passport service. Then, they would add users, and exploit a snippet of code within it to change their name and to hide the identity of the website. All you would see is msn.. Since most users aren't careful of the e-mail, they don't pay much attention. From their, it's all a matter of social engineering into getting whatever they need. Microsoft fixed this, by altering msn messenger code and by sending a notice about the passport problem.
End Comment: I hope you people enjoyed it, I will be having alot of vulnerability/patches tutorials and ways to secure your system better! Thanks, and come again.