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Microsoft disables active links in Messenger 09 to halt spread of worm

windows live messenger worm
The Inside Windows Live blog has announced that Microsoft has temporarily disabled active links for Windows Live Messenger (WLM) 2009 users. Its motivation: to prevent the spread of a malicious worm plaguing users of the instant messaging program. An infected user who is chatting with someone else could unknowingly send a poisoned link to other users -- who then click the link and download its malicious payload.

This is a fairly common way for infections to spread, and on a network as big as Live Messenger such worms can spread in a big hurry. Shutting down active links -- where URLs are automatically turned into clickable links in chat windows -- is a good first step, and will keep WLM 2009 users safe while Microsoft works on a permanent fix.

Not sure if you're running Live Messenger 2009? If you see the message box above on your main window, you probably are. The missing feature the message refers to is the disabled link support.

If you're running Live Messenger 2009, this might be a good time to consider upgrading to the 2011 version. WLM 2011 isn't affected by this particular worm thanks to its built-in Link Safety defenses. You can download the new version from Microsoft here as part of Windows Live Essentials 2011.

Tags: 2009, chat, im, live messenger, LiveMessenger, microsoft, virus, windows, worm

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