Beware of Windows Live Messenger/MSN scams

Now Microsoft is killing off Windows Live Messenger, scammers have stepped in, trying to trick users into downloading fake installers that include malicious software. It’s important to be aware of the threat and be careful about what you download.

As Windows Live Messenger users are migrated to Skype, many users are looking for installers as a way to escape Skype. Microsoft’s official site is no longer offering Messenger as a download, so people are looking for other sources.

Even if you do get a Windows Live Messenger installer, you will still have to move to Skype to continue chatting to your contacts very soon. Microsoft are shutting down MSN, and there is no way to avoid this. While Skype is very different, we have a guide to getting started, so the transition is as smooth as possible.

According to Kaspersky Labs’ SecureList blog, cyber-criminals have been buying sponsored links for ‘MSN Messenger’ on Google, that lead to links that download Trojans. Currently, the target seems to be Brazil, where almost a third of Windows Live Messenger users live. The use of Google’s AdWord raises questions about Google’s verification system for its partners.

It’s likely that these kinds of scams will increase when MSN is shut down for good. We would advise not searching for Windows Live Messenger or MSN installers, as the move to Skype is inevitable.

[search image via SecureList]

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