MSN Messenger Spam

I hate NET SEND SPAM, and I have been fighting with it for a long time by helping people to disable the Messenger services or install firewalls. I have clearly stated that the Messenger Service NET SEND SPAM used is NOT the MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger.

However, there comes the new type of spam – MSN Messenger Spam.

MSN Mesenger Spam is more annoying and dangerous than NET SEND SPAM

Here is the screen shot of the forth messenge I got in the last four hours.

screen-msn.messenger.spam-christina.PNG

It is more annoying and dangrous because:

  1. I can turn off the Messenger Service to prevent NET SEND SPAM from appearing, since the messenger service is seldom used. But MSN Messenger is the tool I use everyday to communicate with my friends
  2. Firewall and other techniques may be not easy to block this kind of spam since the connection with the server is always kept alive. The content flow within this connection is seldom checked. (I may be wrong on this. Correct me if I made the wrong statement.)
  3. NET SEND SPAM only deliver messenges and the user has too retype it in browser to visit the spammer’s website. But MSN Messenger’s message can display URL and the page is just one click a way. What if the page contains virus code? People seldom take the download-file-warning seriously.

How this happend?

Actually, it is very annoying to me since till now, I didn’t find out the reason why it appeared. The common sense for MSN Messenger is, if some one is not on my contact list, he cannot send messenges to me. In other words, I need to either add them to my contact list by myself, or accept their add request before we can talk. But this person ugly_tcharlesz@hotmail.com is not on my contact list!

I will investigate this and post my answers

Stay tuned. I will find out how they send these spam and post solution to disable it in the next few days. If you know the answer and solution, please let me know too.

Update: Reasons and solutions found April 14, 2003

After investigating this for some time and also got help from people like Jonathan Kay [MVP] in the newsgroup, I finally find out how the spammer did it and the solution to fix this problem.

It seems the new version of .NET Meseengers enables anyone to send you a message WITHOUT being on your contact list.

How to do this? (I am using the Windows Messenger that comes with Windows XP as example here)

  1. Open the Messenger Main window, click Send an Instant Message… on Action menu. The Send an Instant Message dialog box appeared.
  2. Click on the Other tab. Enter any Passport e-mail address into “Enter e-mail address:” input box and send a message to them, without being on their contact list.

    screen-msn.messenger-send.an.instant.message.other.PNG

Looks dangerous, isn’t it?

Solution

The solution is simple.

  1. Open MSN Messenger main window.
  2. Click Options… on Tools window.
  3. Switch to Privacy tab.
  4. Select “All Other Users” in the My Allow List and click “Block>>” button. The “All Other Users” groups will appear in the My Block List list box.
  5. Click OK to save your settings.

Now, only those who are on your contact list can send message to you and you are free of such spam now.

Update Works in Trillian also May 18, 2003

Thanks Kynan for letting us know that the following steps works in Trillian also.

  1. Go To Preferences (Right click tray icon, Options, Preferences)
  2. Scroll down to “Chatting Services” and MSN. Under the MSN option select Privacy
  3. Hidden amongst your contacts is the “All other users” contact in your “My Allow List”, select it and click on the “Block>>” button
  4. Hit OK and voila, no more spam.

130 thoughts on “MSN Messenger Spam”

  1. I kneel down to you and kiss your feet i cannot believe I actually found some one who will share information!! There are people out there trying to profit from the information that you so freely share. Cant wait to hear how to get rid of that msn messenger popup. THANK YOU!! YOU SAVED MY NETWORK!

  2. Awesome, thanks, I started getting these unwanted messages a week or two ago and it’s up to two or three a day now…

    Thanks for the fix!

    Larred

  3. Thank you for the fix, these ppl who send these ads with no regard as to whether this sort of thing is offensive or not are just scum.

  4. Just found your page on google. Exactly what I am looking for. I’ve now stopped those spamming idiots annoying me! Thanks again!

  5. Thanks for the info. I’m having another problem with MSN pop-up.

    It pops up about every 5 minutes. It says “Sign in” at the top.

    The body says, “this way to the best of the internet (part of MSN network).

    It tells me to type my name and password

    After deleting, and “x” ing, and cancelling repeatedly, I finally entered the information and pressed “ok”. The stupid thing continues to pop up every 5 minutes.

    It does not show up on “pow”, and I can’t find it in my temp files. HELP! I’m ready to attack it with a hammer!

  6. Nancy, I want to help but I didn’t encounter this kind of spam myself. But I am interested to find out all forms of spam and publish ways to get rid of it. Would you please send me the screen shot of the spam to me to my mail box – jianshuo AT hotmail DOT com? Let me see if I can help.

  7. this problem has been spamming me for a few weeks now and i disabled the messenger service but this has fixed it! it was getting worse as one mailer would open a window, add others to the conversation, change names and all of them would spam the window.

  8. thank you thank you thank you!! I was already very very pissed when I found this site… and it’s even an easy solution!! :))

  9. Dear Wangjianshuo,

    Many thanks for your perseverance in fighting spam. I found this information very useful. Microsoft’s site seems to make no mention of this ‘feature.’ My hats off to you!

    geo

  10. this problem was bugging me for quite some time now … this was the second site that came up but the first site that had the right info i needed :)

    thank you so much!

    driven

  11. There is a possible side affect to setting all others not on your list as blocked. Correct me if I’m wrong but say if you do as suggested above, what if you do a cleanout of your list at one time of people who you rarely talk to (or another person who you talk to sometime deletes your name from their list), wont this effectively block the other user and therefore they do not see you online again and so cannot message you again? I myself have over 50 name on my list and so i clear out some who I havent talked to for a while and by doing this the other person may not be able to contact me again as I no longer have them on my list if I activate this option to block the spam. Maybe something for those MSN programmers to think about.

  12. THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!!

    I have been having this problem for a couple of weeks now. I was very, VERY annoyed by it. I’ve been getting 5-10 messages a day. I checked my firewall and everything seemed alright, so I thought they were sending me messages by spoofing msn.microsoft.com or something. GREAT FIX!

  13. i used to have that same problem but i fixed it, now i have another problem. About twice a day i get the message that someone is adding me to their contacts list, and then 30 different e-mails come up for me to add to, and in my junk mail folder i got an e-mail from every address and it said “got spam?” how do i stop this?

  14. Well, matty, you are facing the other problem “MSN Connection Spam”. I heard of this kind of spam but not met it before. I have no method to remove this before if you disable this function (I don’t know how yet), your real friend may not be able to add you to their contact. I will keep searching for the method and update at this page if there is a solution.

  15. First I want to say thanks, second I agree with Shaughn, there is a side affect and there isn’t anything one can do about it, well let me correct my self, there isn’t anything one can do about it yet. One solution would be, have them email you and then you can add them or put them back to the list. Since they are friends most likely they have your email address.

    I have another problem. I am running Trillian how can I accomplish the same result from there?

    Thank you.

    Eric db

  16. Eric db: This fix works in Trillian also (.74d)

    1) Go To Preferences (Right click tray icon, Options, Preferences)

    2) Scroll down to “Chatting Services” and MSN. Under the MSN option select Privacy

    3) Hidden amongst your contacts is the “All other users” contact in your “My Allow List”, select it and click on the “Block>>” button

    4) Hit OK and voila, no more spam.

  17. great…was ready to kill until i found your solution…quite obvious too, funny i never noticed the ‘all other users’ thingie there

  18. Thanks, I received 2 spam messages on msn messenger, did a search on yahoo, found your solution >> now all is good

    good job spammers, sent me 2 links and i clicked 0 of them. you should be proud of yourself

  19. I never had MSN spam before the other day, but now I would get one about every hour.

    Why the hell do spammers think that they are doing any good? They just bog up the internet by wasting bandwidth doing that, and nobody I’ve ever met ever clicks on the thing.

    But YOU GUYS FREAKING ROCK.

  20. Grat Thread! Just a note that Trillian Pro version doesn’t have the same blocking options as the free version. Not that I can find anyway.

  21. Hi!

    as Ishdral I’ve never noticed that either ((:

    but, in all those threads (posts) nothing mentioned that this kind of spam is not only sents by users not from your contact list, but also that they (spamers) found a way send the spam using conference feature! and that “fix” wont work for that.

    lets say, the spamer has me and two of my buddies in his contact list, I dont have him in mine, but my one of buddies has, so, what the spamer does, is send “conference” message to three of us, and emmidietly disconnects…so, if u click “block” that users, u’ll block your buddies instead of the spamer. I dont know what kind of tools they use to do so, but I belive it has nothing to do with sending messages by using email. So, hope someone can come up with some patch for Windows Messenger (that comes with Windows XP) / MSN Messenger, that would let us chose to anable/disable conference feature.

  22. Thank you very much. I have been getting a lot of messages lately and I was not aware how that happend. It seems to work and I am very pleased.

  23. Thanks a bunch! I was trying to watch a movie on my pc, had my msn messenger turned off and suddenly my movie gets the boot and some da#%! spammer pops up! I didn’t think they could even do that when you don’t have messenger going. Well anyhow with your advice problem is now fixed and I wholeheartedly thank you.

  24. Here’s the fix fro trillian pro:

    Spam has become a big problem these days. It happens with the real clients too, but there is a way to block spam with Trillian.

    Right click the icon and go to the “Connection Manager”. Click the account that you want to work with and then click “Preferences”. Go to the “Privacy” tab and you will see the option to only allow people on your buddy list to send you messages. Every medium is worded a little differently but they all have the same effect. For MSN you will want to move the “All other users” to the blocked list.

    Hope this helps.

  25. thx so much. Been trying to get rid of these things for weeks now. Dumb MS site was no help.

  26. Thanks a lot.

    I just wondered whether by blocking all other users, it would stop someone that you know but who isnt on your contact list from asking you whether they can be added to your contacts list.

  27. I have a very common MSN id. I got it when Hotmail started so there are no numbers or underscores or wierd spellings in it.

    Now, the problem is that everyone and his cousin has added me to his/her/its contact list. I blocked all these people, and now my block list contains umpteen hundred entries. It takes me forever to sign on.

    MS says I can’t delete an entry from my block list till the other person deletes my entry from his/her contact list.

    What to do? What to do?

  28. Just wanted to say thanks….I was getting quite fed up with the pile of spam msgs i was getting.

    Thanks again.

  29. Thanks very much for this incredible information. Ever since I upgraded to XP about 3 weeks ago, I’ve been bombarded with all kinds of these spam messages. Almost drove me insane. lol. But thanks to your instructions, as well as all the information you’ve provided in the reply thread, all is definitely good. It’s cool that there are a few people out there who are willing to share this kind of information, and not expect anything in return. It’s sad how people are charging $20-30 for anti-spam products, when the solutions are all too simple (and free). Thanks for pointing us in the right direction. You rock!

  30. Andy, easy ways will solve big problems. Lots of people are making money from anti-spam software – some claim to be able to kill Net Send Spam, actually, they just turn the service down, which will only cost you 30 seconds manually. http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20021107_stop_net_send_spam.htm

    Others do the same thing as specified above. But they are also helping people to fight against spam because they can use the money gained from clients to put more advertisement in Google and other website – so they earn more money. That is the difference since I cannot aford paying advertisement so the only reason why so many people are visiting this page is because someone are willing to help others and forwarded this page to their friends or post it on the website. That is good.

  31. Thx, I was getting sick of these pop-ups. Finally found a way of dealing with them!!

  32. Just wanted to say thanx. Those messages were driving me crazy and I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. Obviously I’m not the only one.

  33. Thank you so much. I usually consider myself a little bit of a problem solving whiz, but I could not figure out how to stop those stupid spam messages! I live far from home, and it would really disappoint me when I’d see there was a message and it was for some porn sight. Now I don’t have to worry about that anymore!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! You’re a smarty pants.:)

  34. Thanks, I had worked out most of the problem but I had over looked the “all other users” My block list was getting mightly long. this has been bugging me for weeks now, I hope every1 find this site.

    :)

  35. WOW!!! I can’t thank you enough! You have no idea how this has been driving me absolutely nuts for nearly a month now. I attempted to block all of the crap, but it is a neverending battle. All of a sudden my block list was ten miles long and they just kept coming (if that darn “Josee” or “Kate” talked to me again, I think I was gonna explode!). I had never noticed the “all other users” thing on my list either – guess I was looking in the wrong places.

    You have no idea how happy you’ve made this girl!!! :o) Excellent job and many thanks!!!

  36. you are a legend, thanks, its always a worry if the gf might walk in and see weird ladies names popping up all the time saying- cum and see my new webcam, knowing my gf she would think Ive been up to noo good adding sluts to my contacts list !!

  37. Thanks!!!! These people should be beaten severly, is there no way to avoid these annoying spammers?!!!! Your fix is awesome!!!

  38. w00t….I gotta give you props man. I was getting dozens of spam messages a day. Not to mention that is looks dirty having that kind of spam pop up on ones desktop. Its kind of depressing to think that your site is the only one I could find to answer a seemingly common problem, especially when considering it is such a trivial solution. Anyway, I guess it means your site is 1 in a Google ;-)

    !MadProps!

  39. Thank you so much. I started getting these a few weeks ago and am up to about 15 a day….annoying as hell. now they’re gone, thanks again.

  40. Just wanted to thankx too for that piece of info! :)

    i have trillian and have been getting about 25 spam a day and was getting REALLY sick about that! :)

    i just hope people can still msg me if they wish to get added to my list! :) hehe…

    laterZ

  41. This fix totally saved me. I get very annoyed when I can’t stop things like spam. For Trillian 1.0 the way to do it is to right click on the tray icon, select “Connection Manager…”, select your MSN connection and click Preferences and then proceed to Privacy.

  42. hiiii hanin maa 3am ne2dar infut 3al msn 3ashan farah ba3tat elshdide ulila inu tersha3 teb3at el adim oki habibti (K) (K) (K)

  43. Thank you so much. My husband was ready to throw my computer out the window. You saved my life!!

    Thanks;

    What is wrong with MSN not telling us how to do this?

    Who cares as long as there are kind people such as yourself.

    Tons of thank you’s!!

    Lizzie

  44. Why doesn’t “bill gates inc.” tell us how to do this? They like to see us squirm I suppose.

    So glad I found this. Thank you so much.

  45. First page that came up from a google search, sorted the problem nicely! I leave messenger running quite often when i am away, everytime i returned to my PC there was a host of messages on the screen that has nothing to do with me or who i talk to. Thankyou !

  46. maybe these freaks i do not know will stop trying to cyber sex with me!!!!! i do love you for this. THANX!

  47. i want 2 use msn 6 but i cant use it because it says i need to contact my adminstrater and i have but it don’t work what do i do?

  48. Hi, I tried downloading the msn messenger 6.0 but it seems not to work on my computer when i click the icon it disapeers.s Why is that. Please email me.

  49. I have a question? I cant download 6.0 messenger so I’m trying to find 5.0 so if u could help me I would be very happy. thanks

  50. HI!

    Can you help me ! I have a webacam , which is working , but when I try to start a webcam session ,it says it’s trying to connect but the other person can’t see me and after a while it automatically disconnects me .

    Thanks,

    Naftali

    PS ! the fire wall is not the problem

  51. do u know what u are reading a message sent by a person that is crazy and i am waisting your time ha ah thanks for reading

  52. wow that Travis is really a jerk.

    Anyway, I have XP and MSN messenger but I have never used the message system so none of the choices were available, that is, no TOOLS or Options within MSN, just the MS toolbar to control cookies on that privacy tab. So, do I have to sign up for messenger first so I can control “all other users”?

  53. yesterday I sent the above message about not even using the message system. I finally logged onto it to be able to issue a BLOCK “all other users” statement and did so. It did not stop the message spam. However, I had signed up with a new hotmail email address rather than my regular cable-based email address. Is that why it did not work? I then got to thinking, how could I be sent a message thru net Messenger if I had never signed onto the system before today? Can someone put my email address associated with my cable connection in their net messenger system and send me a message if I had never even logged onto it?

  54. Hello again. Just wanted to let you know that I fixed the Messenger problem but it was not the MSN Messenger after all. I had never used it as I said, and put a do not send as well. The REAL problem was a virus in my system that came on every time the computer booted up. I never did find exactly where it operated from but I believe it was somehow connected to a exe SYSTEM file called csrss.exe. I had my full Norton package operating including Norton Internet Security but I had not updated it for 2 months. As soon as I did the updates the messages were gone forever. Curiously, the virus scan did not show what it had found but it must have been the key. By the way the virus was doing the same thing your fans had described with MSN and .Net, that is a message every 30 sec advising me to go to one of 3 different web sites to “buy” protection for $24.95 (sort of like the Mafia). Hope this helps someone else. Dr Bill in Oregon

  55. Hello,

    I have been using msn messenger for quite a while now. A couple of days ago I tried to go onto msn messenger, and when i signed an icon poped up and said we cannot sign you into msn messenger because it appears you are behind a firewall and it is blocking you to sign in. I have checked everything and even went to the help button. Nothing will work. A week before that I tried downloading a new msn and it screwed up my computer. I don’t know maybe it has something to do with that well i am really confused about it and i would really like you to e-mail me back if you know what is wrong. my e-mail is soccercutie_12@hotmail.com thank you

    -Meagan

  56. I would like to know how can I block downloading msn messenger. I remove it and my daughter downloads again. There must be a way to set a control that even my bright kid can’t figure out. Please get back to me anyone with a solution I’m desperate.

  57. To be fair, you people are blind, if none of you realised that the solution was to tick a box and to upgrade to MSN messenger 6.2 you need some common sense knocked into your heads before owning a PC, what happens when you people type in you credit card details online and theres somone on the other end of a phone line watching you? what happens if the site is not secured with encrypted data? its the lack of knowlage you people have before owning a PC that it letting this whole spam and hacking malarky get way out of hand.

    On a lighter note, I STRONGLY reconmand going over to http://www.download.com and picking up a copy of ad-aware and Spybot – Search & Destroy. theese are free to use programs and will remove spy and ad ware from your PC if you have any. I would also refrain from useing some P2P fileshareing applications such as Kazaa as they have spyware in them.

    Just a little common sense and research can help you have a PC that isnt bombarded with popups every 5 minutes dose’nt have a Virus on it every other day and has no spy or ad ware.

  58. Hi, I’m hoping someone can shed some light for me…. I keep hearing complaints for people that their MSN Messenger gets hacked. I want to know how this is possible. I mean, if the so called “hacker” is not on your contact list, can not send you anything, is it truly possible for them to hack? Even remotely possible?

  59. So how do I get rid of that annoying little messenger update window that keeps popping up in the lower right hand corner of my desktop? It’s blue, it’s annoying, and it won’t go away!

    Thanks,

    Wayne

  60. hi i would like 2 have somw contants in my messnger that i do not know please so if u want 2 talk 2 someone add me at “anakaren1993@hotmail.co.uk” thanks.

  61. Thanks for this very good post. spam on MSN is something even more disturbing than e-mail spam.

  62. hey,

    this shit is gay yall want to hear about it well .. ok on day i got on my computer and my friend sent me beta download 7.0 and i downlaoded it and it said sorry we were unalbe to sign you in at this time plz try again later 80012ee2 and so .. i waited and waited and got tired and so i went back to download 6.2 back and it would not let the FUCK that shit lol … well g2g bye

    love always,

    julie

    p.s. julie9dorf@hotmail.com is my addy and im 14 and from texas .. lol

  63. hiya i am 13 years old and my msn messenger 7.0 isnt werking how do i get it to werk if i clik on it all it duz it come on at the bottem ov the screen then go off agen i can get it to work can sum1 help me plz

  64. Hello …

    I Am Having Realy Bad Trouble With My MSN Messenger!

    Someone Hacked MY MSN Account & Changed My Secret Question & Password So I Made A New Account Up & I Made The Password Realy Hard To Guess And Someone Has Got My Password Again And Wrote On My MSN Name ” IM A SLAG ” & Deleted All My Contacts!

    Why Does This Happen? Could You Tell Me The Solution To It Please! :-(

  65. Hello……

    I have a problem with my msn messenger 7.0. I downloaded it but it won’t work when i click on it it goes on the bottom but it won’t open then it dissapears and i get a message saying messenger has encountered a problem. Can someone pls help me ?????

  66. I am not able to ‘forward’ either a page or an attachment. The other party gets a blank page only. Please h e l p me.

    All of a sudden a window pops up saying: ‘this page can not be displayed”. I can not get rid of it, it just hangs there on the left. Very annoying!

  67. in ref to my problem of “FORWARDING”, I am set up with HOTMAIL, but since Hotmail nor MSN does not supply a real person or telephone contact for problem shooting, I am in search for someone to help me step by step. I am not very computer efficient, nor have much experience on software or technical problems. PLEASE SOMEONE REPLY TO MY E:M. Thanks in advance.

    Ingrid

  68. i would like to find out why i am being signed in automatically every time that i sign in to msn messenger, how do i stop that from happening, i don’t want my e-mail address to show at all and i don’t want to be signed in automatically, how do i stop from doing so?

  69. Hey, if anyone has any questions that they cannot be botherd waiting around for someone to reply to on this forum, just give me an email with the problem, what needs to be fixed and what version and what Windows version you have. And I will see if I can help you out.

    altmann_ta(at)hotmail.com , replace (at) with @

    -ALSO-

    Does anyone has a KeyGen, Hack, Crack or anything to help me get MSN 5.0 working again (NOT Windows Messanger)

    I just need some sort of code or help finding where this ‘thing’ tells MSN to look for an update or sends out it’s version number.

  70. hi

    someone has changed my password and secret question and now i can’t get on to my msn. i need to know how to change my secret question so please tell me.anyone!!!

  71. hi , see my msn my contacts writing is exactly the same as mine whenever i change it …… i dont know whats wrong could someone email me bout it at mcgas7@aol.com thank you v. much :-) :-)

  72. I hate MSN my 12 year old is addicted to it her friends and her do nothing but sit on their butts and play head games and insult other people this program gives them a false sense of protection because they will say things that they would not normally say to others I AM FED UP AND DISGUISTED. I want this crap to stay off of my PC for good!!How can I stop this from being downloaded onto my computer?

  73. “this way to the best of the internet” – If you are getting the popup in outlook when you try and send email messages, it is because you are setup for your outbound smtp server to get authentication. I had this turned on by accident and when I made it so my smtp (under tools>accounts or tools>services) server didn’t look for authentication, that silly pop went away immediately. I am using outlook 2000.

  74. hi there, ive download a picture that was sent via msn called bill gates and me at the beach or something i then developed a virus from this whihc everytime, i turn on my pc, i get a rather explicit message appearing and i cant open any anti virus software…do u have any ideas as to what this virus is and how i can prevent it?

    Thanks

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