What is an Instant Messsenger Virus?

Just when we thought we had patched all the “holes” in our systems preventing malware attacks, a new virus spreading vector is making its way into our computers: The instant messenger virus.

As with most virus or spyware attacks, a great deal of social engineering is involved. Once the virus enters your computer and you open your instant messenger program (for example Windows Live Messenger), you PC starts “broadcasting” messages to all your IM contacts. The message varies according to the virus, but it’s always something along the lines of “Look at these cool pictures of the party: http://yourname.somecoolname.com” or “Is that you on this picture: http://yourname.invite.anotherattractivename.com“.

Some of your contacts see a message coming from you, their friend,they get curious to see those party pictures, and without thinking twice they click on the link. Usually they receive a message saying that there was an error with the link, but it’s too late. The virus is now on their computers.

How to prevent the Windows Live Messenger virus?

The best way to avoid getting these instant messenger bugs is basically to mistrust any request from one of your contacts requesting that you click on a link. If you get such a request, contact the person who supposedly sent it and ask him or her if the link was indeed sent by them. If they say it wasn’t, let them know that their computer might be infected with an IM virus so they can check their system

How do I get rid of a Windows Live Messenger virus?

In most of the cases, your antivirus or antispyware program will detect the virus and block it. If the virus enters your computer, bypassing the antivirus, removing it can get a little tricky, depending on the virus variant.

However, I found a little free utility that removes the messenger virus in most of the cases. It’s called MSNCleaner, and it removes many of these viruses.


Download MSNCleaner – Free Windows Live Messenger virus remover

The program is easy to use. Just click Analyze and once the analysis finishes Delete the offending files. If you have questions or would like help with the removal of a Windows Live Messenger virus, you can contact me at rsigal@thefloridacomputerguy.com and we can setup a remote session to remove it remotely.