It’s inevitable that software has bugs and that’s bad enough.
What’s worse is when folks out on the internet try to sell you a
solution that you can get for free.
I’m hearing reports of a popup message that will tell you that
“A buffer overrun in messenger service Could Allow Code
Execution” and includes a pointer to a web site that a) looks
reasonably official, and b) contains links to a product you can purchase to
resolve the vulnerability.
My question is this: why buy the product when you can get the fix for
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The bug we’re talking about is in the Windows Messenger Service.
Let’s be clear – that’s not “Windows
Messenger”, but rather the “Windows Messenger Service”. They
are unfortunately similarly named but completely different animals. In
fact I have an article that discusses the difference: What’s the difference between Windows Live
Messenger, Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Windows Messenger Service?.
So, step one is very simple: it’s highly unlikely
that you even need Windows Messenger Service. So turn it off. Press:
Services & Applications
Now double click Messenger and set the Startup
Type to Disabled. You can also “Stop” the service at that
Without the service running you’re no longer vulnerable to the bug and you should stop getting the annoying popups that sparked this
But what if you need Windows Messenger Service?
That’s Simple. Easy, even.
And best of all, free.
Visit Microsoft’s Windows Update. There
you can automatically make sure your computer is up to date with all the
latest and greatest fixes to Windows including the fix for
Windows Messenger Service.
Visiting Windows Update is just a good thing to do every so often.