Users of America Online Inc.'s Winamp media player are at risk of remote code execution attacks because of a flaw in the software, according to a warning from a security research firm.

The flaw, which Secunia rates as "highly critical," has been reported in Winamp versions 5.05 and 5.06. Prior versions also may be affected.

Security-Assessment.com, which is credited with finding the vulnerability, said a malicious hacker could cause a buffer overflow in various ways, the most dangerous being through a malformed .m3u playlist file. "When hosted on a Web site, these files will be automatically downloaded and opened in Winamp without any user interaction. This is enough to cause the overflow that would allow a malicious playlist to overwrite EIP and execute arbitrary code," the company said.

The vulnerability exists due to a boundary error in the "IN_CDDA.dll" file," the company said.

Secunia recommends that users disassociate ".cda" and ".m3u" extensions from Winamp until the vendor releases a fix.

eWEEK