BlackBerry security hole patched

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A security hole in the Windows software used to download files to BlackBerry phones has been plugged.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Wednesday addressed a vulnerability in its BlackBerry Application Web Loader, an ActiveX control that is typically started on a web page and downloads software through a USB cable connected to the phone.

RIM issued an advisory that said: “When a BlackBerry device user browses to a website that is designed to install the BlackBerry Application Web Loader ActiveX control on BlackBerry devices over a USB connection, and clicks ‘Yes' to install and run the ActiveX control, the ActiveX control introduces the vulnerability [a buffer overflow] to the computer.”

The RIM advisory said that the vulnerability has a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of 9.3. CVSS scores range from 0 (no vulnerability) to 10 (critical).

“By convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document, an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user," a US-CERT alert warned. "The attacker could also cause Internet Explorer to crash."

For its part, Microsoft addressed the problem in a revised patch released Tuesday, saying in an advisory that one of its latest security updates sets a kill bit for an ActiveX control developed by RIM. A kill bit stops an ActiveX control from running in Internet Explorer.

Users can get a new version of the BlackBerry Application Web Loader (version 1.1) here.

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