Users warned of gaping instant messaging hole

Analyst Gartner has warned that a flaw in MSN Messenger makes instant messaging (IM) a serious security threat, and urged...

Analyst Gartner has warned that a flaw in MSN Messenger makes instant messaging (IM) a serious security threat, and urged enterprises to implement comprehensive IM policies immediately.

Gartner analyst Lawrence Orans said, "IM is so widely used that most enterprises have no idea how many IM clients are installed on their systems or how much IM traffic passes over their networks.

"Microsoft acted quickly to control this malicious-code outbreak by denying access to clients that were not up-to-date. However, the next time an IM exploit emerges, Microsoft or another IM provider may not be able to respond as quickly or as effectively.

"Enterprises must take responsibility for ensuring that the use of IM does not compromise their security. If necessary, they must be able to temporarily shut it down when a serious security threat emerges."

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