De-worming Windows Live Messenger

Worm logoGetting infected with worms isn’t pleasant for man, beast or PC. It’s particularly annoying when your Messenger becomes infected with one. Today, I was chatting to a friend on Windows Live Messenger and she suddenly started saying some very suspicious things like “Remember when your hair looked liked this?” and “I’m going to post this picture of us on my weblog” followed by an attachment. Actually, if she’d used the word “blog” I might have clicked on it as I knew “weblog” was a bit too formal. Anyway, fortunately, it seems my Avast! anti-virus or Windows Firewall blocked it and the transfer failed. One Google search later and I discovered that the worm she had is known as “MsnSend.A“.

Her anti-virus checker obviously hadn’t caught it and amazingly, the only website offering cleanup advice on it was that of Panda Antivirus. She didn’t have it already installed however and it’s a bit of a long winded job to install a new piece of anti-virus software just to remove one virus. So is there another way? Well, searching around I found a few sites dedicated to Messenger worms. Happy-Messaging is once such site that lists a handful of common worms and viruses that can infect MSN Messenger (now known as Windows Live Messenger).

Meanwhile, Microsoft have their own site dedicated to tips on how to avoid Messenger worms. However, it seems a bit poor that the software giant hasn’t at least devised a simple Worm Removal tool for this kind of thing. After all, it is one of their most popular downloads (downloaded almost 500,000 times from Softonic alone) and used by millions across the world. Come on, surely it can’t be that hard, Bill?

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