TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

America Online ICQ ActiveX Control Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-06-037: November 6th, 2006


Affected Vendors

    America Online

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 4725. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of AOL ICQ. User interaction is not required to exploit this vulnerability.

The specific flaw exists in the DownloadAgent function of the ICQPhone.SipxPhoneManager ActiveX control with the following CLSID:


The vulnerable function takes a single URI argument of a file to download and execute under the context of the running user. A malicious ICQ avatar can be used as an exploitation vector, allowing attackers to exploit this vulnerability by simply messaging a target ICQ user.

Vendor Response

America Online states:

AOL has issued an update to correct this vulnerability on 10/31/2006. The update is automatically applied once connected to the ICQ service.

Disclosure Timeline

    2006-09-20 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2006-11-06 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Peter Vreugdenhil