Researchers in Finland have found a series of flaws in the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) libraries that could pose a serious security risk.
The team at Codenomicon, working with the Computer Emergency Response Team in Finland (CERT-FI), have found a number of flaws in the way open source programs process XML functions.
The flaws could be exploited, either by crafting a specially designed XML file or by sending specific requests to XML engines.
"XML implementations are ubiquitous - they are found in systems and services where one would not expect to find them", says Erka Koivunen, head of CERT-FI.
"For us it is crucial that end users and organisations who use the affected libraries upgrade to the new versions.”
Sun Microsystems, Apache and Python are all expected to release new versions of their XML libraries to counter the problem in the next 24 hours. The researchers waited until such library upgrades were available before releasing the news of the vulnerabilities.