The instant messaging battle between the evil AOL and the diabolical Microsoft keeps getting uglier and uglier. I guess what both these companies always needed was to find a rival that wasn’t hampered by problems like integrity or ethics, so that they could really have a fair fight. The latest sickening outrage is that AOL used a buffer overrun in the AIM client (a big security hole) to change the software to block connections from Microsoft’s messaging product. If AOL can discover and exploit buffer overruns in their products, so can plenty of other people. Unfortunately, this problem was publicized by a Microsoft employee who sent an email to a security consultant in the guise of someone working for a fictitious company. The security consultant was savvy enough out figure out that the email really came from Microsoft. Oops, that’s one black eye each if you’re counting.