MSN Messenger, the most insecure IM client?

Posted by absorbation on Tue 20 Mar 2007 (20:49 GMT) (19975 views)
Viruses are everywhere on MSN and Windows Live Messenger. They are so clever and they spread like wildfire. Simply it's near impossible not to come across one while chatting to your friends, and you may just find you have been a victim in the past.

Security Park reports:

Over the past 12 months, MSN Messenger has consistently ranked #1 as the most targeted IM platform. Fifty-three percent of all the IM-based threats blocked by ScanSafe in the past year have affected MSN, compared to 41 percent that affected AIM and 29 percent that affected Yahoo!.

Ouch, some harsh facts there. But the question is why Messenger is such a victim. Is it because MSN is ridiculously popular? Is it the fact the Messenger API is vast and easy for programmers to use? Or possibly because security is a major flaw in Messenger?

Anyway I think you should check out the article if you want to read up on more facts and speculate yourself. Viruses are really taking over instant messaging, and with good reason. They target a vulnerable audience, know how to trick people and easily spread.

Read: 'MSN Messenger is the most targeted IM platform'

Tags:   Security  Instant Messaging    

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Comment by Chris
Posted on Thu 22 Mar 2007 (14:47 GMT)
To increase security, I would recommend that people using messenger turn off the allow links option under the security tab and have a anti-virus scan incoming file-transfers in messenger.

Comment by the andyman
Posted on Wed 21 Mar 2007 (19:46 GMT)
Bah, you've nicked my news story again - if only I didn't seem to be so busy all the time I might've got round to posting about it. Slightly more up-to-date info from the same company that produced those stats say that:
ScanSafe blocked 24 unique IM threats in February. For the 12th consecutive month, MSN was the most targeted client during with 54% of all blocked IM threats affecting the application compared to 21% that affected Yahoo! and 17% that affected AIM.

Comment by Matti
Posted on Wed 21 Mar 2007 (13:41 GMT)
In my opinion, it's because people click without thinking. Therefore, some good tips:
- Disable the Shared Folders feature. A virus can easily be transferred through it and you won't even know.
- Only accept file transfers you've asked for or you know what they are. If you don't know why the person sends it, ask it or cancel it.
- Only click on links which you know they're safe. If someone sends you a link randomly, it's very likely that the message was sent by a virus on the contact's computer.

If you keep these in mind, I see no reason why chatting with WLM can cause any danger, except if someone hacks the servers of course...

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