IM Clients Exposed to Malicious Activities

Instant messaging is obviously one of the most popular activities nowadays with millions of users connecting to such applications every day. There is a large number of
instant messaging clients on the web, including here the giants Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ or less-known programs which gained audience only in certain regions of the world such as the Chinese QQ. The bad thing about all these software programs is that they are all exposed to several types of threats, an analysis made by revealed.

There are three main malicious activities which could be conducted through instant messaging clients, the analysis explains. Attackers can either steal passwords of the users connecting to the applications, spread malware and send spam messages. However, there's no secure IM client and each of them is vulnerable to some type of threat, Denis Maslennikov and Boris Yampolsky wrote in the study.

Yahoo Messenger
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"Take, for instance, the popular Chinese IM client QQ. Trojan-PSW.Win32.QQPass, and a related program, Worm.Win32.QQPass, are both widespread in China and were specially created to steal QQ client passwords," they explained.

Moreover, MSN Messenger, which is said to be one of the most used instant messaging clients on the Internet, is also among the favorite targets for attackers especially due to its popularity. "Malicious users exploit MSN Messenger because it is included in the Windows installation package. This means all Windows users automatically have the MSN client on their machines. The popularity of MSN around the world makes it all the more attractive to cybercriminals wanting to increase the number of infected computers in their botnets," explained the analysis.

There are several efficient ways to protect you against IM attacks but the best is probably extra-care when connected to such an application. You should also ignore all messages, links, files or any other type of content coming from mistrusted sources.

Comments: Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live Messenger

Yahoo Messenger

 Comments: Yahoo Messenger

[Source: softpedia]