Messenger Spam,
October 10, 2002 3:49 PM   Subscribe

Messenger Spam, for those of you on Windows 2000/XP, you might want to check this out. I don't think it's going to be an isolated phenomena, seeing as how other bloggers (link has a link to a picture) are reporting it. Luckily, the first link has an easy solution to the problem, non-savvy users might be quite perplexed with the "important" looking dialogue box.
posted by geoff. (13 comments total)
I got my first one today. I left it running because I actually used it, and it's on by default. It'll be interesting to see how popular this will become.
posted by geoff. at 3:51 PM on October 10, 2002

I don't thinks its a great idea to have windows box with port 139 open in any case. Either get yourself behind a router/firewall, turn on the windows XP software firewall, or download Zone Alarm another software firewall.
posted by malphigian at 4:15 PM on October 10, 2002

i noticed a little while ago that there were lots of attempted incoming connections to 139, but i've always just denied them.

seeing as this is a thread about spam... can anyone recommend a freeware/open source spam killer that works with pop & hotmail accounts? for some reason MS Outlook, which filters spam on normal accounts pretty well, doesn't do anything to hotmail, which really needs it.

posted by mhjb at 4:15 PM on October 10, 2002

It's about time people start using Private IPs, anyways (,,172.16-31.0.0). It isn't hard. Just buy a $60 Linksys router if you want to do it easily.

As a bonus, if you do it that way, you'll be able to have more than one computer on the network. :-)

And, since the IP you use is "non-routable" no one can ever push a spam/virus/whatever in this manner onto your machine without breaking your router first, or worming their way through a broken piece of software.

Cheap, easy, and well worth your time. And no more useless firewall alerts, because they just can't get at your machine like that.
posted by shepd at 4:18 PM on October 10, 2002

net send used to be a fun way to play games on coworkers. you net send a buddy's computer with a message saying they are fired or to stop visiting would scare the crap out of them.

anyone not running a windows box without a firewall really should get their heads examined.
posted by birdherder at 4:27 PM on October 10, 2002

Plug: use an old computer as an OpenBSD firewall. Plenty of those "Linksys routers" have holes and applying the flash updates for certain brands of that style of product can be a PITA.

'make world' is so much more elegant for staying up to date with the latest vulnerabilities.
posted by Ryvar at 4:34 PM on October 10, 2002

I just got one today as well for a free diploma. And to think I wasted all that money trying to Magic Claw a Harvard diploma from the local bowling alley...
posted by samsara at 4:34 PM on October 10, 2002

shepd, a Linksys router or any router would do no good if you're set up as a DMZ host.
posted by geoff. at 4:55 PM on October 10, 2002

If anyone in this day and age is NOT using a firewall you deserve spam. Years ago when I first installed the freeware ZoneAlarm it was catching 10+ attempts per day and thats minimal for some. Somthing like %5 or more of traffic on the backbones is port scanning and Denial of Service attacks (stat I read years ago from one of the MAEs).
posted by stbalbach at 4:59 PM on October 10, 2002

geoff, you are right, but the default (or at least the default for my wifi router, which is using PPTP, since I don't intend to give my 'net connection away for free :-) is no DMZ.

Ryvar, yup, patching the firmware would be a good idea. But at some point the difficulty to reward ratio for a spammer/virus/whatever makes hacking the thing pointless. I mean, what you are going to do to someone's linksys router? Make it flash rude messages in morse code? Make it infect other routers? (I guess that could suck).

Anyways, I use a Linux firewall, but I don't reasonably expect the average joe, or even a serious computer user to set up something like that. I think I can expect them to drop a Linksys router in the works, though. :-)
posted by shepd at 5:08 PM on October 10, 2002

VPC5 users running 2000/XP: put your X to work.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:19 PM on October 10, 2002

Here is a windows app that will run through a class C block and send them all messages.
posted by perplexed at 6:33 PM on October 10, 2002

...And here's my latest battle with spam/spyware.
posted by arielmeadow at 11:27 AM on October 11, 2002

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