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Kazaa & iMesh in 'serious' security alert

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P2P file sharing network users were urged to install a patch to fix a 'serious' security vulnerability that has been discovered by Random Nut
A security researcher who found a potentially critical vulnerability in the software that drives the FastTrack network, which powers p2p software such as Kazaa and iMesh, has dismissed claims by the makers of the software that the problem isn't serious.

The makers of Kazaa will release a patch within the next 24 hours and is urging customers to install it "as soon as possible".

According to the original advisory, published to the Full Disclosure security mailing list, attackers can take control of or crash the FastTrack "supernodes" that p2p users connect to.

"It's definitely a serious risk. Just ask anyone... if executing arbitrary code is a serious risk or not," he told ZDNet Australia.

Identifying himself only by his pseudonym, Random Nut, he said he went public with the vulnerability after waiting nearly two weeks for Kazaa and Joltid, the makers of FastTrack, to get back to him.

"[On] Tue 13 May I emailed a guy at Joltid, and about 2 days later I filed a bug report at www.kazaa.com. Yesterday, after reading it on Full Disclosure, someone working for Joltid contacted me. He told me that the guy I emailed had been on a long honeymoon," he said.

Although he has exploited the vulnerability, he will not be releasing exploit code into the public domain.

"I haven't released the exploit code. I don't want some little script-kiddie to close down all of the [FastTrack] network or parts of it," he said.

A spokeswoman for Sharman Networks, makers of Kazaa, told ZDNet Australia they had been informed by Joltid the issue isn't serious.

"As a licensee, Sharman Networks has been advised that the security of the FastTrack peer-to-peer technology is not under any significant risk," she said.

Kazaa will use information provided to them by Joltid, the makers of FastTrack, in authoring a patch.

"Sharman Networks has been provided with an update from the FastTrack's licensors which addresses this issue," it said in a statement. "The latest update... will be available for download within 24 hours and we encourage users to install it as soon as possible".