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RealPlayer Flaws Trigger PC Hijack Alert

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Digital-media delivery company RealNetworks on Thursday rolled out patches for four high-risk vulnerabilities in its flagship RealPlayer software, warning that the flaws put millions of users at risk of PC hijack attacks.

The Seattle, Wash.-based RealNetworks Inc. said the flaws can be exploited by remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands with the privileges of the logged-in user.

he company issued a high-risk alert and confirmed that all four flaws affect RealPlayer 10 and 10.5, RealOne Player versions 1 and 2 and RealPlayer 8.

RealPlayer Enterprise, the configurable version of RealPlayer designed for enterprise deployments, the Rhapsody 3 music service and the open-source Linux and Helix versions are also affected, the company warned.

The most serious of the four flaws could allow an attacker to create a malicious MP3 file to allow the overwriting of a local file or execution of an ActiveX control on a vulnerable machine.

RealNetworks said a malicious RealMedia file that used RealText could also be used as an attack mechanism to cause a heap overflow. This could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on a target machine.

A third vulnerability was described as buffer-overflow error in the "vidplin.dll" file that does not properly handle specially crafted AVI files. This could be exploited via malicious Web sites to execute arbitrary commands with the privileges of the logged-in user, RealNetworks said.

The company said a fourth vulnerability could be combined with default settings of earlier Internet Explorer browsers and exploited by a malicious Web site to create a local HTML file and then trigger an RM file to play which would then reference the local HTML file.

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