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Gaim vulnerable to malformed SNAC packet infinite processing loop

Vulnerability Note VU#839280

Original Release Date: 2005-02-21 | Last Revised: 2005-02-22


Gaim contains a flaw in the processing of certain packets that may cause a denial of service.


From the Gaim project:

Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging (IM) client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, GroupWise Messenger, and Zephyr networks

Gaim is susceptible to receiving a malformed AIM/ICQ OSCAR SNAC packet that may cause Gaim to enter an infinite processing loop. Please note that creating this type of malformed SNAC packet requires a custom client capable of crafting malicious invalid packets.


A remote attacker may be able to cause Gaim and the local system to become unresponsive or to cause Gaim to crash.


Apply an update
This flaw has been fixed in Gaim 1.1.3, along with other potential security vulnerabilities. All users may download an update at the Gaim Downloads page.

As a best practice and potential workaround, users should not accept unexpected messages from unknown sources.

Vendor Information


Gaim Affected

Updated:  February 21, 2005



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

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


The Gaim project has published a Gaim Vulnerability note concerning this flaw.

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

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



Thanks to the Gaim project for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Ken MacInnis based primarily on information from the Gaim project.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2005-0472
Severity Metric: 1.28
Date Public: 2005-02-17
Date First Published: 2005-02-21
Date Last Updated: 2005-02-22 14:21 UTC
Document Revision: 14

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