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 Post subject: Avoiding Windows Messenger SPAM
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2004 4:25 pm 
I am not my computer's stats
I am not my computer's stats
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
Originally posted by Logik!

Avoiding Windows Messenger SPAM


Avoiding Windows Messenger SPAM
Recently, there has been a proliferation of SPAM via the Messenger service. The best protection against this, of course, is to have a proper firewall between your machines
and the Internet. Here's more info on the spam and things you can do to stop it.

You'll want to block traffic to the NetBIOS/SMB ports (TCP/UDP 135, 137-139, 445). Or, you can turn off the Messenger service, if you don't need it for network alerting purposes, but getting and configuring a proper firewall is a better resolution. Turning off the service will simply leave you vulnerable to other NetBIOS attacks.


In another episode of crazy Microsoft naming, there are not one, but TWO Windows components/services responsible for communication. Both are generically generically
referred to as the Windows Messenger Service.

People new to Windows 2000 and XP will likely hear this description and think of the Instant Messenger products such as Yahoo Messenger, AIM, ICQ and MSN Messenger.

People who have used NT 3.x and Win3.x will be more acquainted with the old school Messenger service which facilitates NET SEND messages.

The anti-SPAM information found in the previous section refers to the native, text-based service (Messenger) and not the GUI-based Instant Messaging app (MSN Messenger).

To address SPAM with the text-based service, be sure to lock down your NetBIOS connectivity from the Internet.

To address SPAM with the GUI-based app, don't tie your account to Hotmail or list your account in the public Messenger directory.

To add to the confusion, there are no less than three versions of Instant Messaging clients available from Microsoft today:

Windows Messenger 4.7
MSN Messenger 5.0
Instant Messenger for Microsoft Exchange 2000

MSN Messenger is more tightly integrated to Microsoft's MSN Internet Service, but works almost identically to Windows Messenger 4.7

Windows Messenger 4.7 is only available for Windows XP whereas MSN Messenger 5.0 is available for the following:

Windows 98/ME
Windows NT4
Windows 2000
Windows XP (Pro & Home)

MSN Messenger is also available for other platforms such as the Mac, the Pocket PC, and Microsoft TV.

(I have no idea why there are so many versions...)

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