Music player bug could let in MP3 viruses

Thursday, 2 May 2002, 1:13 PM EST

Experts say this particular backdoor can easily be closed, but add that the flaw shows computer viruses could potentially exploit the huge popularity of internet music sharing.

The music player Winamp was found to contain the bug by Swedish computer engineer Andreas Sandblad. In an alert to a computer security mailing list, Sandblad explains how the bug could be used by a computer virus in order to spread.

Sandblad writes: "The virus is activated when the MP3 file is played in Winamp and can then infect other MP3 files found on a hard drive or network." The bug exists in the way the player reads the part of MP3 files used to identify artist, title and genre, he says. By modifying this section of an MP3 file, a target computer can be made to perform unauthorised tasks.

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