Apparently there are a bunch of viruses and worms that go around on the Messengers.i read about it recently in the CHIP CD magazine and i was reminded what had happened a couple of weeks back…
when i had just come online i had a long list of offline messages waiting for me on the Yahoo! messenger for me.and they were all from my friend Prahaas who i had just added..when i checked them out i found that all of them had links and with captions like “to make Money on the Net click here”.”to win free iPods click here”,…well i dont have a habit of clicking unsolicited links..especially in the messenger..so i just deleted them and went about my daily chores online…the next day i met him in college and asked him why had he sent those links to me..and here is what he said …in reported speech…..he had actually got similar links from a girl he was talking to and had just clicked on them before checking with here.the next thing he knew , his address book opens and the messages get automatically sent to all his friends ..after that he asked her why had she sent him that and she said that she never sent him any such links!!!! so there he was sending replies to everyone telling them not to open them.
It was only lately that i came to know that these messengers have flaws that can be exploited by hackers since they open up through the firewall to send those messages and the file transfers..Chip CD had made a study of this and found out that the new MSN live Messenger is the better one among all the commonly used IM’s while Yahoo was last among the 6 IM’s tested on basis of Phshing filters,child protection,auto-updates,virus scans,encrytions,..The others were Aol,Trillian,ICQ,Google talk (in the middle).also in the last few months this is one of the most upcoming security risk taking place especially in the office environs. The most common programs that come through this are usually trojans,and it seems that these programs are getting cleverer by the day (capable of acting as a user in a chat room!!!).
the ways to escape from this is
- not open unsolicited links
- to try to encrypt chat messages [if you are using a office computer]
- Activate firewalls and virus scans.
- or for the paranoid just dont use these IMs 😀
By the way, you cant sue these freeware chat companies since they have included a variation clause in their End Users License Agreement.
thanks to chip-india