search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

CERT Coordination Center

Yahoo! Messenger contains a buffer overflow in the URI handler

Vulnerability Note VU#137115

Original Release Date: 2002-06-05 | Last Revised: 2002-06-06


Yahoo! Messenger is an instant messaging client. A remotely exploitable vulnerability has been reported in the URI handler of Yahoo! Messenger.


A remotely exploitable buffer overflow exists in the URI handler of Yahoo! Messenger, versions 5,0,0,1064 and prior, that may permit a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of the current user. A shared buffer for the parameter functions, such as "getimv", "sendim", "message", "addview", "adduser", "call", and "chat", is vulnerable to exploit.

This URI handler is installed by Yahoo! Messenger for applications that use the underlying operating system (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Outlook, or the command shell). A URI can be sent by another Yahoo! Messenger user, embedded in a web site, or sent in an HTML-renderable email message.


Exploitation of this vulnerability will crash the application, resulting in a denial-of-service condition. However, this vulnerability is a buffer overflow and may allow the execution of arbitrary code on the local system with the privileges of the current user.


Upgrade to version 5,0,0,1066.

Vendor Information


Yahoo Affected

Notified:  May 29, 2002 Updated: June 05, 2002



Vendor Statement

Yahoo! encourages users to upgrade to the latest version whenever prompted by the AutoUpdater or regularly check for updated versions of the client at

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



This vulnerability was discovered by Phuong Nguyen of Vice Consulting.

This document was written by Jason Rafail.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2002-0031
CERT Advisory: CA-2002-16
Severity Metric: 18.98
Date Public: 2002-05-27
Date First Published: 2002-06-05
Date Last Updated: 2002-06-06 15:01 UTC
Document Revision: 32

Sponsored by CISA.