Feeds

Windows Messenger ‘Trojan update’

How to kill it, how Redmond resurrects it

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.