05 Dec 2011

Flaw in Yahoo messenger could spread spam

An unpatched threat in Yahoo Messenger gives hackers the ability to easily change people's status messages, according to PCWorld, which could allow the spread of viruses. Users should be aware of these possible threats and always keep an antivirus program up and running in case a seemingly-friendly link turns out otherwise.

The firm that discovered the flaw said it would only take 50 lines of code to malform the status message and that seems to be the only thing that could be abused by the flaw.

"This vulnerability can be leveraged by attackers to earn money through affiliate marketing schemes by driving traffic to certain websites or to spam malicious links that point to drive-by download pages," Lucian Constantin of IDG news wrote on the website. Users should set their lists to private for now, but this will not protect them from people they are already friends with on the messenger.

People are more likely to trust a friend's status message than a stranger's, but it is important to have an internet security program that scans websites before they are loaded. This will prevent a lot of viruses and heartache.