GAIM 0.75 Remote overflows — GLSA 200401-04

Various overflows in the handling of AIM DirectIM packets was revealed in GAIM that could lead to a remote compromise of the IM client.

Affected packages

net-im/gaim on all architectures
Affected versions < 0.75-r7
Unaffected versions >= 0.75-r7


Gaim is a multi-platform and multi-protocol instant messaging client. It is compatible with AIM , ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, and the Zephyr networks.


Yahoo changed the authentication methods to their IM servers, rendering GAIM useless. The GAIM team released a rushed release solving this issue, however, at the same time a code audit revealed 12 new vulnerabilities.


Due to the nature of instant messaging many of these bugs require man-in-the-middle attacks between the client and the server. But the underlying protocols are easy to implement and attacking ordinary TCP sessions is a fairly simple task. As a result, all users are advised to upgrade their GAIM installation.

  • Users of GAIM 0.74 or below are affected by 7 of the vulnerabilities and are encouraged to upgrade.
  • Users of GAIM 0.75 are affected by 11 of the vulnerabilities and are encouraged to upgrade to the patched version of GAIM offered by Gentoo.
  • Users of GAIM 0.75-r6 are only affected by 4 of the vulnerabilities, but are still urged to upgrade to maintain security.


There is no immediate workaround; a software upgrade is required.


All users are recommended to upgrade GAIM to 0.75-r7.

 $> emerge sync
 $> emerge -pv ">=net-im/gaim-0.75-r7"
 $> emerge ">=net-im/gaim-0.75-r7"


Release date
January 26, 2004

Latest revision
January 26, 2004: 01



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