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Hole in Windows Messenger? (Win2k)

Greetings, All!

We build & sell PCs & service them when neccesary, nearly always to do with Spyware/Adware/Virii, etc. We always impress upon the buyers that they need to get "protection", giving them the URLs for AVG, AdAware & Spybot. Most are first time PC buyers (yes, there are still some around!), who apparently think we're exaggerating.

One weird little problem (little to me, since I know how to stop it) is a customer with Win2k calling in hysterics because he or she just got a message from Windows/Microsoft telling them the registry is corrupt, or the hard drive will crash in 4 hours (always specific as to amount of time), or they have been infected with a Trojan since 11:39 am today (again, specific), or similar message. Of course there is ALWAYS a link for them to click to "fix" this problem. They click and then ARE in a fix. This only happens with Win2k.

After calming them down, I walk them through the process of disabling the Windows Messenger, while explaining it's just 'something' that exploits a flaw, looking for a computer to compromise.

This isn't a very good explanation & saying it's "a thing" in Messenger isn't very professional, lol. Can anyone tell ME just what this is, so I may sound a little more knowledgeable? Is this a virus, worm, trojan, etc., or do I just continue calling it "a thing" ? Seriously, I'd like to know what's causing this.

Thank you for your time.

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Hi Pegs56

In reply to: Hole in Windows Messenger? (Win2k)

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Thanks, Roddy32!!! (Talk about fast service! :D )

In reply to: Hi Pegs56

Your link helps me a lot in understanding just what this "thing" is! I was also interested to see this exploit goies right through a firewall.

I actually got one of these warning messages last year (before any of our customers had) & since I've never used the Windows Messenger & am not on a private network, I knew to disable it pronto. However, I am behind a hardware router, & every Norton scan I do for vulnerabilities, shows me in "stealth mode". Depressing to think even that isn't enough.

Thanks a bunch for the prompt reply & for pointing me in the right direction! Grin

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(NT) (NT) You're welcome, glad we could help. :D

In reply to: Thanks, Roddy32!!! (Talk about fast service! :D )

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Not a weird message

In reply to: Hole in Windows Messenger? (Win2k)

One weird little problem (little to me, since I know how to stop it) is a customer with Win2k calling in hysterics because he or she just got a message from Windows/Microsoft telling them the registry is corrupt, or the hard drive will crash in 4 hours (always specific as to amount of time), or they have been infected with a Trojan since 11:39 am today (again, specific), or similar message. Of course there is ALWAYS a link for them to click to ''fix'' this problem. They click and then ARE in a fix. This only happens with Win2k

Microsoft does not send these type of messages to ANYOBODY and I will opine that it includes personae like Bill [Mr. Microsoft] Gates, the President of the USA, Her Majesty the Queen of England or His Holiness the Pope.

So if you tell your clients this at the time of purchase and advise them to DELETE these email on arrival, emphasizing that the only way Microsoft will contact them is if they subscribe to notifications and provide a valid email address, it should serve to assuage their concerns.
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Thanks for the suggestion...

In reply to: Not a weird message

We already do tell the customers about e-mails supposedly from Microsoft, or a bank, or PayPal & etc.

This isn't a problem with e-mail. If you look at the subject of my initial post, you will see these messages are coming through as pop ups from Windows Messenger. Since most of these people are first time buyers, they have no idea these messages aren't generating from inside their computer. The "what& how" was my question.

Thanks for your help, though.

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You might also tell your customers that....

In reply to: Hole in Windows Messenger? (Win2k)

there is also a messenger back channel in Outlook Express that is being used more & more ISPs to spam their own customers. Lavasoft (AdawareSE) site has an Add-On for AAW which disables BOTH routes with a enable/disable button for each route. Just download and Exe and it auto installs to Adawares Add-ons button. Good to also bring down the VX2 cleaner while there. Installs the same.
The more basic protection they know, the happier they'll be in the long run. Less work for you but...you still have to get them to update so you won't be exactly like the "Maytag Man"!LOL! Happy

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