Home    |    View Topics    |    Search    |    Contact Us    |   



Category:   Application (Instant Messaging/IRC/Chat)  >   AOL Instant Messenger Vendors:   America Online, Inc.
AIM File Transfer Traversal Flaw Lets Remote Users Modify the Storage Location During a File Transfer
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1017890
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2007-1904   (Links to External Site)
Updated:  May 16 2008
Original Entry Date:  Apr 9 2007
Impact:   Modification of user information
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): 5.9 and prior versions
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in AIM. A remote user can write files to arbitrary locations on the target system during a file transfer.

The software does not properly validate user-supplied input in the specified filename to remove '../' directory traversal characters. During a file transfer, a remote user can supply a specially crafted filename to cause the transferred file to be stored to an arbitrary location on the target system.

The vendor was notified on February 1, 2007.

iDefense reported this vulnerability.

Impact:   A remote user can write files to arbitrary locations on the target system during a file transfer.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fix (6.0 or later), available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Input validation error
Underlying OS:  Windows (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDefense Security Advisory 04.09.07: AOL AIM and ICQ File Transfer

AOL AIM and ICQ File Transfer Path-Traversal Vulnerability

iDefense Security Advisory 04.09.07
Apr 09, 2007


AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ are instant messaging applications that
allow users to exchange messages and files. More information can be
found on the vendor's site at the following URLs. or


Remote exploitation of a path-traversal vulnerability in AOL's AIM and
ICQ could allow a remote attacker to place arbitrary files on the
victim's machine during a file transfer operation.

AIM and ICQ allow users to share and transfer files via a custom
protocol. During file transfers, the sender is allowed to specify the
display name of the file, and the filename used for the transfer.

The recipient can only specify the folder in which to save the file. Due
to an input validation flaw, the clients do not properly strip "../"
traversal characters from the filename the attacker supplies. By
specially encoding the path attackers can force the file to be saved to
a directory of their choosing when the victim accepts the file transfer.


Exploitation of this vulnerability allows attackers to place arbitrarily
named files in a directory of their choice when the victim accepts a
file transfer.

By default ICQ warns users that file transfers are unsafe and to only
accept file transfers from trusted users. ICQ also requires that a user
is on your contact list in order to accept a file transfer. Users must
manually accept the file transfer in order to be exploited.

During the file download, the traversal path is displayed in the
filename portion of the dialog. ICQ will not overwrite existing files
without prompting the user for confirmation. It is important to note
that the attacker specifies the display name used in the file accept
dialog. This file name is arbitrary and need not be the same as the
actual file being transferred.


iDefense has confirmed this vulnerability in ICQ version 5.1. Previous
versions are suspected vulnerable.

Additionally, AOL reported that AIM version 5.9 and prior are


iDefense is currently unaware of any effective workaround for this


AOL has provided the following solutions to address this vulnerability.

"1. Active ICQ clients have already been patched via an automatic

2. Users of the AIM client 5.9 and earlier are urged to upgrade to the
latest version of the AIM client from

3. In addition, AIM 5.9 users are also protected by a fix that has been
applied to the AIM infrastructure."


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not
been assigned yet.


02/01/2007  Initial vendor notification
02/01/2007  Initial vendor response
04/09/2007  Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

Get paid for vulnerability research

Free tools, research and upcoming events


Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDefense. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically,
please e-mail for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
 There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct,
indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or
reliance on, this information.


Go to the Top of This SecurityTracker Archive Page

Home   |    View Topics   |    Search   |    Contact Us

This web site uses cookies for web analytics. Learn More

Copyright 2021, LLC