Trojan horse infects AOL's ICQ

Sneaky file can steal passwords from any of 40 million ICQ subscribers.

A Trojan Horse masquerading as a JPEG file is allowing hackers to gain access to ICQ passwords, America Online officials confirmed Thursday.

Officials at AOL, which owns the ICQ instant messaging service, had only sketchy details on the hack. A spokeswoman said the company had begun receiving incident reports today, but said the company did not know how long the file may have been circulating. Only around 200 incidents have been reported, the spokeswoman said, out of the estimated 40 million subscribers.

She said that when consumers open the file a "hacker is able to gain access to ICQ passwords", but did not have any more information on how exactly the program worked.

She did say that the company had developed a way to restore a consumers' ICQ number.