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MSN's Security Hole

WebProNews
Staff Writer
Published: 2004-10-20

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According to Omnipod, a worm has been identified that takes advantage of a security hole in the MSN and Microsoft Messenger, a public IM program.

The worm, known as W32/Funner.A-mm, propagates itself by retrieving contacts from the MSN and Microsoft Messenger address book. Victims receive an executable file named Funny.exe; when it infects, it adds 937 URLs to the Windows HOSTS file, places executable files to the Windows system folder, and makes registry changes to ensure it executes when the PC starts up.

"The Funner Worm highlights the glaring vulnerability associated with relying on Microsoft for all communication needs and public networks for IM," said Gideon Stein, CEO of Omnipod. "Third-party offerings such as Omnipod's hosted IM service will always be more secure since they are not targeted as often by hackers in their attacks. Also, the Personal Online Desktop's (POD) users communicate via a private network, ensuring that messages are screened for dangerous programs in real-time."

Engineered to prevent the security vulnerabilities common in consumer IM platforms, Omnipod's private IM network prevents the security problems of public IM and file sharing offerings by combining strict administrative controls with 168-bit encryption and 3DES SSL, protecting POD users from hackers as well as from the common viruses and worms that routinely infect consumer IM systems.

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