Yahoo's IM update: A Trojan horse of surprises

by admin December 18, 2006 at 8:16 am

Yahoo said late Friday that it has fixed a bug in its newest version of Yahoo Messenger that changed a user’s mail preferences without his or her consent.

But the company has stopped prompting customers to update the software until it can sufficiently test that the fix works, said Yahoo spokeswoman Terrell Karlsten.

“We’re testing the fix until we can get it behaving the way we want it to behave,” she said.

Yahoo Messenger 8.1, when it was released Friday, automatically installed a Yahoo Mail icon in a user’s system tray and changed the user’s default mail settings to Yahoo Mail, said Karlsten.

Yahoo had alerted 73 million users worldwide (or all those using its IM service before November 2) to download the latest software version, which includes free or low-cost PC-to-PC calls among its chat features.

The company said the update increases stability and reliability, and improves security. The previous software contains a security flaw that could cause other applications like Microsoft’s IE to crash, or prompt users to be involuntarily logged out, Karlsten said. The new version, she said, fixes that issue and bundles in new features like interoperability with Windows Live Messenger.

“The reason why we do a package, bundle everything together, is so people can get the latest version with the security updates and the great new features,” Karlsten said.

Full story: ZDNet News