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Mysterious 'Messenger' Popup


Mysterious 'Messenger' Popup

Earlier today a mysterious Popup( like a VB message box) apeared on my W2K Laptop. If I know how to insert a screen shot I would do so but since I dont here is a textual description:

The Title bar said: Messenger Service

In the body it said:

Message from CAUTION to You on 12/4/2003 10:53:23

Attackers Gearing up to Exploit Windows Messenger Security Hole

Pop-ups like this one come through open oprts on your computer.
Not only are they annoying, they are a sign that your ports are open and vulnerable to hackers. Hackers can gain access to your computer through the same ports that these pop-ups use.

Visit [OK Button] (I wasn't crazy enough to try this)

I don't have MS Messenger running but I do have Yahoo Messenger installed. My network is behind a router/NAT firewall and I also have Zone Alarm installed. Have visited Shields Up and no problems reported at all.

Has anyone see these before or know what they are?

Many thanks,


Mysterious 'Messenger' Popup

This is known as the 'Messenger service' - and is not at all related to Windows Messenger (the MSN clone built into XP). It's a regular occurance to receive spam through it, and you shouldn't be worried by it.

You can disable it by following the instructions located HERE.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Mysterious 'Messenger' Popup

For mostt users the windows messanger service is not required. It was primarily designed to allow sys admins to pass messages between systems but as you have found, it is now being exploited by spammers - the pop-up you got was actually spam!

Adaware - the spyware scanner from lavasoft - has a plug-in option that allows you to turn off / on the messanger service and shows it's current status which may be easier than stopping the service via the administration apps.

If you are already running this then you can download the plug-in from here.

If you are not running Adaware it can be downloaded from and I do recommend it's use. I also run spybot search and destroy, another excellent spyware/malware scanner.


Peter Cool