AOL Instant Messenger vulnerable to buffer overflow via crafted "addbuddy" URI sent in message

ID VU:259435
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2002-06-13T00:00:00



America Online's Instant Messenger (AIM) contains a remotely exploitable buffer overflow vulnerability.


AOL Instant Messenger is a widely used program for communicating with other users over the Internet. A buffer overflow exists in the processing of the addbuddy parameter of the AIM URI handler. A URI can be sent by another AIM user, embedded in a web site, or sent in an HTML-renderable email message.


A denial-of-service situation is caused. It has not been determined if this vulnerability can lead to the remote execution of code.


Block AIM Authentication at the Firewall

Blocking connections to on port 5190/tcp may prevent users on the local network from authenticating to the AIM server. This may be sufficient to prevent the vulnerability from being exploited.

Block Untrusted Messages

AIM permits the user to only accept messages from known peers. By enabling this feature, you may be able to prevent the vulnerability from being exploited. Note that you may still be vulnerable to attacks that originate from known peers if the vulnerability is exploited in a worm like fashion.

Systems Affected

Vendor| Status| Date Notified| Date Updated
AOL Time Warner| | 07 Mar 2002| 04 Jun 2002
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics

Group | Score | Vector
Base | N/A | N/A
Temporal | N/A | N/A
Environmental | N/A | N/A


  • <>
  • <>
  • <>


This vulnerability was reported by NtWaK0 .

This document was written by Jason Rafail.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: Unknown
  • Date Public: 01 Mar 2002
  • Date First Published: 11 Jun 2002
  • Date Last Updated: 13 Jun 2002
  • Severity Metric: 2.33
  • Document Revision: 21