AOL Instant Messenger "Direct Connection" allows remote attacker to create files

aim-direct-connection-files (8870) The risk level is classified as MediumMedium Risk


AOL Instant Messenger could allow a remote attacker to create arbitrary files on a victim's system when using the "Direct Connection" feature. If a remote attacker is permitted to use the "Direct Connection" feature, the attacker can send a specially-crafted file that would be created in a directory specified by the attacker. The attacker would specify the directory in which the file is created by using '..\..' character sequences in the SRC parameter to traverse directories on the system. This would allow the attacker to perform future related attacks against the user.


Gain Privileges


Do not accept "Direct Connection" requests from an unknown user.


  • BugTraq Mailing List, Tue Apr 16 2002 - 02:45:35 CDT: AIM's 'Direct Connection' feature could lead to arbitrary file creation.
  • BID-4526: AOL Instant Messenger Arbitrary File Creation Vulnerability
  • CVE-2002-0591: Directory traversal vulnerability in AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) 4.8 beta and earlier allows remote attackers to create arbitrary files and execute commands via a Direct Connection with an IMG tag with a SRC attribute that specifies the target filename.
  • OSVDB ID: 9056: AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) IMG Tag Arbitrary Command Execution

Platforms Affected:

  • AOL AOL Instant Messenger 4.8 beta


Apr 16, 2002

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