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.
It is more annoying and dangrous because:
- 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
- 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.)
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)
- Open the Messenger Main window, click Send an Instant Message… on Action menu. The Send an Instant Message dialog box appeared.
- 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.
Looks dangerous, isn’t it?
The solution is simple.
- Open MSN Messenger main window.
- Click Options… on Tools window.
- Switch to Privacy tab.
- 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.
- 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.
- Go To Preferences (Right click tray icon, Options, Preferences)
- Scroll down to “Chatting Services” and MSN. Under the MSN option select Privacy
- Hidden amongst your contacts is the “All other users” contact in your “My Allow List”, select it and click on the “Block>>” button
- Hit OK and voila, no more spam.