RealNews

Instant messaging falls prey to hackers

Hackers are exploiting browser security flaws to hijack instant messaging (IM) accounts, security experts have warned. When Microsoft decided to shut down its chat rooms for security reasons, it suggested IM as an alternative. But although the company claims this method of chat is safer, hackers hav already exploited security holes in the Internet Explorer browser to hijack IM accounts, according to Drew Copley, a research engineer at eEye Digital Security, who discovered the original security vulnerability. This could open a back door to unknown chatters as well as expose children to pornography from spammers. Internet security firm Symantec said vulnerabilites have meant that attacks on IM and peer-to-peer sites have risen 400 per cent since 2002. Using what are known as application programming interfaces (a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications), hackers have developed worms or Trojans that can capture a remote user’s list of IM correspondents, or ‘buddies’. Full Story

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