Microsoft MSN Messenger/Windows Messenger PNG Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

A remotely exploitable buffer overflow exists in MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger. This vulnerability is related to parsing of Portable Network Graphics (PNG) image header data. Successful exploitation will result in execution of arbitrary code in the context of the vulnerable client user.

Attack vectors and mitigations may differ for MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger. For Windows Messenger, the attacker must spoof the .NET Messenger service and the client must be configured to receive .NET alerts.

However, MSN Messenger may be exploited through various methods in a client-to-client attack. Possible attack vectors for this vulnerability in MSN Messenger include:
User display pictures
Custom icons that are displayed inline in instant messages
Thumbnails of transferred images
Background images

Since this issue may be exploited in a client-to-client attack for MSN Messenger, it is a likely candidate for development of a worm.

This issue was originally described in BID 10857. Further analysis has determined that there are unique properties of the vulnerability that distinguish it from the general libpng issue on other platforms.


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