By Michael Crawford
Computerworld Today (Australia)
30 May 2006
Australian security firm Security Assessment has discovered a flaw
with the install of the Windows-based Skype client.
Skype was notified of the potential flaw earlier this month and
promptly issued a patch. General vulnerability dissemination was made
on 22 May 2006 by Security Assessment.
The vulnerability, which has been confirmed by Skype, could allow
users to "retrieve" files from other Skype users through
unauthenticated connections, due to a flaw present in the URI (Uniform
The flaw is enabled through the URI handler installed during
initiation of the Windows Skype client. It allows additional command
line switches to be passed onto the Skype client, potentially allowing
a file transfer.
For such a transfer to be initiated the attacker must authorise the
victim, done easily through adding the victim to the attacker's
contact list, which does not require authorisation from the victim or
Drazen Drazic, managing director of Security Assessment said the bug
affects all releases of Skype to Windows, up to and including the
"We have had concerns about VoIP for a while, but there are not too
many players in the space, security and otherwise, addressing VoIP
security concerns," Drazic said.
"There have been a lot of products rolled out and while only there are
a few large Australian implementations, risk review has been an area
of research for us.
"We did not release the advisory until Skype got back to us and
announced a patch which was Monday morning (22/05) last week."
Exploitation of the flaw will only occur when the potential victim
opens the URI exploit in Internet Explorer, which also requires the
user to visit or open a compromised HTML page. The attacker must also
know the location of the specific file on the intended machine;
however, a common target would be the Skype configuration file.
Attend the Black Hat Briefings and
Training, Las Vegas July 29 - August 3
2,500+ international security experts from 40 nations,
10 tracks, no vendor pitches.