Feeds

Windows Messenger ‘Trojan update’

How to kill it, how Redmond resurrects it

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

This is too cute. You can wipe Windows Messenger from XP with a simple hack, and yet MS will defy you with a 'Critical Update'. That's how desperate they are to force this little Trojan on you.

Following a tip from a Messenger-averse reader whose uninstall got thwarted, I looked into it, starting with a clean install of Win-XP. Messenger was, of course, lurking in the background and consuming RAM though I have no use for it. And of course MS doesn't allow you to uninstall it.

But that doesn't make it impossible. NTcompatible.com has a very simple hack which will allow you to use the Windows add/remove feature in Control Panel to get rid of the offending progie.

Use a text editor to open C:\WINDOWS\inf\sysoc.inf, and change
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7 to
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,,7

That's it. Messenger will now appear in the add/remove application under Windows Components where you can uninstall it.

Enjoy the fact that this irritating memory-resident progie is no longer consuming RAM and haranguing you to obtain an MS Passport every time you reboot.

But that's not the end of it.

No, there's a 'Critical' item which MS foists on you during Windows Update. It's called the 'Windows Messenger 4.6 Connectivity Update', and MS "strongly recommends that you download the update even if you don't use Windows Messenger."

It's that last bit, acknowledging the fact that you might not use Messenger, which makes it seem benign. Surely, this fix has more to do with some idiosyncrasy in 'Windows connectivity' than Messenger itself. Right?

And when we consult the related MS 'knowledge base' article, we're told that "to improve connectivity and system performance, even if you do not use Windows Messenger, Microsoft recommends that you install this update."

Man, they desperately want you to install this fix.

And the result? Do you get 'better connectivity and system performance?' Of course not. The only result is that Messenger is now back on your machine, consuming RAM even when you have no use for it, and haranguing you to obtain an MS Passport.

The only thing this Critical Update does is integrate Messenger into Outlook Express. And by default it runs on startup, and runs in the background. So now you have to go to Outlook Express/Tools/Windows Messenger/Options/Preferences, and turn it off.

Assuming, of course, that you already uninstalled it according to the instructions above. Otherwise it will run no matter what you do. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.