MSN Messenger users threatened by virus

By Derek Sooman on December 28, 2005, 8:34 AM
More dire warnings are appearing about the new dangers of IM malware. Instant messaging is the new arena on which malware battles will be fought it seems, and in recent news Finnish security firm F-Secure has claimed that a variation of the Virkel instant messaging virus has been circulating amongst MSN users, posing as a leaked beta version of MSN Messenger 8.

The virus uses the Messenger client to send download links to all of an infected user's contacts, and connects the user's machine to a second "botnet" server, which could then be used to install unauthorised software on the machine. Victims are being infected by clicking and installing the BETA8WEBINSTALL.EXE file that is being distributed via these download links, F-Secure said.
From what I can discern, there is in fact NO SUCH THING as MSN Messenger 8. Microsoft has indeed released a beta version of its next-generation instant messaging client (and only then to a select few) but the software in question is not called MSN Messenger 8. It is in fact dubbed Windows Live Messenger. So, if you see anything called MSN Messenger 8 please do yourself a favour and avoid it, because it is not what it seems.




User Comments: 13

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mtyson8 said:
Well, It was only a matter of time. You know, I not really even sure we'll be safe in such online areas as banks, paypal, and ebay anymore. I know currently there are sites that apear as paypal/ebay, and want information from you, but soon I think hackers will be able to get into your password and accnt#s at will. I mean, there is secure codes and prgms to counter attack this, but if the hackers know how the secure code works, whos to stop them?
Nodsu said:
This has got nothing to do with computer or software security..It is stupid (yes, stupid is the word) people opening random links and installing random programs. No one can protect you from yourself and you can't blame anyone but yourself either if you fall for this trojan.[b]Always, always, ALWAYS ask and confirm the things your "friends" send you.[/b]
Eleventeen said:
Wow, I agree, it isn't too smart for someone to open up Exe's that they dont even know if it's real or not. Just opening them from someone you probably haven't even met before in real life is sort of not on the bright side. I have never got one of these before, but I can't believe that if one of your contacts just starts sending you exes and stuff that people actually accept it. Everyone really needs to learn how to protect themselves.
luismigilbert said:
have you tried a personal firewall??? a few months ago i installed one in my computer... It did stop everything I tried to open..at least the first time i tried to run a specific program..it's annoying but might work for a few...no, you are right...no one can protect you from yourself...don't open exe files before you check them with an AV
luismigilbert said:
try www.msn2go.com.. you'll need java...i think it's secure..
otmakus said:
Not even after checking them with AV should you open an unexpected exe file (or com,bat,doc,xls,ppt, or any potentially virus ridden files). There are lots of viruses and malwares that can't be detected by even the best AV out there.I personally never even bother to confirm to the senders, I would delete it first and then ask questions later. I expect people to give me a notice before sending me potentially dangerous files.
mastronaut said:
Another reason to hate the internet! Remember when it was a useful tool and not a hackers paradise?
Mictlantecuhtli said:
[b]Originally posted by Eleventeen:[/b][quote]it isn't too smart for someone to open up Exe's that they dont even know if it's real or not. Just opening them from someone you probably haven't even met before in real life is sort of not on the bright side. I have never got one of these before, but I can't believe that if one of your contacts just starts sending you exes and stuff that people actually accept it. Everyone really needs to learn how to protect themselves. [/quote]Some people learn from their mistakes. If they open (or should I say run) a file sent by a stranger - or sent by a friend's zombie computer - they might not do it again if it causes enough problems.Then again, some people may not know 1+1, so don't know what caused the problems.But still I'd argue that blocking all users from sending / receiving executable files isn't a good option.
mentaljedi said:
This is bad. Did you hear about Ebay? They're being hit by fakers at the moment. Only amount of time before the hackers join in too...
phantasm66 said:
[b]Originally posted by Nodsu:[/b][quote]This has got nothing to do with computer or software security..It is stupid (yes, stupid is the word) people opening random links and installing random programs. No one can protect you from yourself and you can't blame anyone but yourself either if you fall for this trojan.[b]Always, always, ALWAYS ask and confirm the things your "friends" send you.[/b][/quote]I've believed what you just said, and acted accordingly since the first day I found out what a computer virus was.
Bartzy said:
Heh,About fifth of my contact list sends me those and other links to viruses. I told them to update their Anti-virus and scan the computer, but I think it's not working.Anyone knows how to remove this nuisance ?
Kev_Boy said:
Try suggesting they scan for spyware aswell (With ad-aware & spybot) because it isn't to farfetched some of that junk could also be the culprit.
omer718 said:
I think it is just the matter of time internet is going to lose its popularity due to so many hackers. its time for the gov. to do something about this.
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