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 Microsoft enforces MSN Messenger 6.2.0205
Microsoft enforces MSN Messenger 6.2.0205

dwergs says ( 11 Feb 2005 ):

 

Because of its critical character, the recent security upgrade has been made mandatory for all users of MSN Messenger 6.1 and 6.2. This means that from now on, if you're still using an insecure version, you'll be prompted with the message that "A newer version is available. You must install the newer version in order to continue.".

Enforcing this upgrade will guarantee the protection of those still uninformed about the PNG buffer overflow exploit and those previously appealing to functionality reducing workarounds such as disabling display pictures and emoticons (in Tools >> Options >> Personal) and blocking untrustworthy contacts.

We stress again that no action is required from MSN Messenger 7.0 BETA and MSN Messenger for Mac users.

Core Security Technologies, the security firm which first found the flaw and reported it to Microsoft in August 2004, said that the bug was extremely dangerous. Although exploit code is out and about, Microsoft said it had not yet seen any actual attack.

>> Official Important Security Update page.

>> Read Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-009.



 Popular Request: Jnrzloader for MSN Messenger 6.2.0205
Popular Request: Jnrzloader for MSN Messenger 6.2.0205

dwergs says ( 11 Feb 2005 ):

 

Jnrzloader -an addon that signs you in appearing offline and with different accounts simultaneously- is still REALLY popular... and so MSN Messenger 6.2. I can tell by the many requests for a MSN Messenger 6.2.0205-compatible Jnrzloader, received since the security update earlier this week.

While there is not specific version for this 6.2 build, there's always Universal JnrzLoader which seems to work great (even with the current MSN Messenger 7.0 BETA).

>> Download Universal Jnrzloader for (almost) all MSN Messenger versions.



 Thumbnailed Contact List Display Pictures 100% Confirmed
Thumbnailed Contact List Display Pictures 100% Confirmed

dwergs says ( 11 Feb 2005 ):

 

msn messenger 7 contact listA screenshot of MSN Messenger 7.0.0604, one of the most recent builds and not available to the public nor beta-testers (so please don't ask), confirms our last presumption made already half a year ago about expected MSN Messenger 7 features: MSN Display Picture thumbnails in the contact list area. How do they call this in bowling? A strike? ;)

Those preferring the classic, clean look can turn this option off. Others will notice slightly bigger status icons in front of the MSN display names as well as the occasional gleams detached from them. Statuses will appear in grey now and a link to MSN Spaces has been added next to the Hotmail and MSN Today ones. Oh, and in the screenshot to the right you'll notice Tom listening to a kick ass tune in Windows Media Player 10.

"Don't wanna sound full of myself or rude", but I admit, nothing here we did not expect already. So let's hope 7.0 final can still come up with surprises that will blow us out of our socks ;)

[Source: creamhackered @ Neowin]



 EXCLUSIVE: Official MSN Messenger 7 release delayed!
<b>EXCLUSIVE</b>: Official MSN Messenger 7 release <b>delayed</b>!

dwergs says ( 10 Feb 2005 ):

 

Sad news, my friends: we at Mess.be have learned that the official release of MSN Messenger 7.0, currently in public beta and previously planned for this month, has been delayed.

A new private beta is in preparation and will be handed over exclusively to beta-testers soon (current estimations say early March). This new build will come with most of the features planned for the final release, including personalized status messages which are already being tested by the MSN Messenger development team since January. As predicted, these messages can also be configured to show the user's currently playing song artist, title and album. (UPDATE: The last mentioned is only confirmed by screenshots of internal build 604, posted later today at WinBeta.org.)

After this extra private beta-period in March, the final public release of MSN Messenger 7 is scheduled for April.

Such a tease!



 Beware for MSN phishing e-mail scam
Beware for MSN phishing e-mail scam

dwergs says ( 10 Feb 2005 ):

 

Be careful when you receive e-mails from "MSN" claiming that "during one of our regular automatical verification procedures we've encountered a technical problem caused by the fact that we could not verify the information that you provided during registration." and urgently ask you to "submit your information so that we could fully verify your identity, otherwise an access to MSN services for your account will be deactivated until you pass verification process.".

Some of them even mention the recent .NET Messenger Service downtimes as the reason of the data loss. Do not click any link in these e-mails, let alone submit your information. This is an obvious case of phishing abusing the MSN brand.

>> Read more in our FAQ: Why did I receive an e-mail asking me to submit my information to MSN?

[Reported by: Huuf & Dan]



 Freemoticons Valentine 69 front page on Download.com
Freemoticons Valentine 69 front page on Download.com

dwergs says ( 10 Feb 2005 ):

 

freemoticons valentine 69Looks like world's most popular software download site, Download.com, absolutely LOVES the Valentine 69 edition of our Freemoticons software. The fully automatic and adware free emoticon installer for MSN Messenger 6 was created by Huuf and Timothy a year ago and features 69 lovely emoticons by MNeMo. Today it's featured on Download.com's front page for a second time.

Our software is listed as a possible answer to the poll question "What software are you downloading for your sweetie this Valentine's Day?" Currently it only has 3.2% of 2944 visitors' votes, so we would like to ask you all a favor and go to Download.com, scroll down a bit for the poll, select "Expressive emoticons" as an answer and press the big yellow VOTE! button. Or if you're lazy, just click here (not tested). Thanks in advance!

UPDATE: With 6.6% of the votes, we climbed up one position. Let's beat the other four!

>> View the Freemoticons Valentine 69 by MNeMoNiCuZ page

>> Download Freemoticons Valentine 69 @ Download.com

>> Feeling generous? E-mail the Freemoticons Valentine 69 pack as a present to your best friends

>> Check out our other Freemoticons installers for MSN Messenger 6

>> Using MSN Messenger 7 already? Download CustoMess for MSN Messenger instead to import hundreds of MSN Display Pics, MSN Emoticons and Backgrounds automatically and for free. Lots of Valentine goodies to be expected in the next couple of days!



 Security Update: MSN Messenger 6.2.0205
<b>Security Update</b>: MSN Messenger 6.2.0205

dwergs says ( 09 Feb 2005 ):

 

Microsoft has released a critical update to MSN Messenger.

Version 6.2.0205 protects your system from the MSN Display Picture vulnerability published yesterday, that allowed an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it. Another fix would be installing MSN Messenger 7.0 BETA, not affected by the vulnerability.

>> MSN Messenger 6.2.0205 can be downloaded in any language here.

>> Download MSN Messenger 7.0 BETA.

If you swear by Windows Messenger you have to be cautious as well! Versions 4.7.0.2009, 4.7.0.3000 and 5.0 are also affected by the vulnerability. Check your version number (Help > About):

>> 4.7 versions can be updated with Windows Update;

>> 5.0 needs to be manually replaced with Windows Messenger 5.1.

NOTE: The Mess Patch, Custom Games Patch, skins and other popular downloads are NOT available for MSN Messenger 6.2.0205 (yet). Another good reason to upgrade to MSN Messenger 7 straight away.



 .NET Messenger Service down second time today
.NET Messenger Service down second time today

dwergs says ( 08 Feb 2005 ):

 

bang head hereYou're probably visiting Mess.be expecting to read this: Yes, as of this moment it's down again.

Please have patience while the Messenger ops team tries to fix the current issues so you can log into MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger and MSN Web Messenger again soon. Meanwhile, read our yesterday's cool exclusive on the upcoming new Messenger Plus! feature.

UPDATE: As of now, Messenger is back in the air!

UPDATE #2: Or is it? :( Errors all over again.

UPDATE #3: Returns with still somewhat whimsical availability.

UPDATE #4 (9th of Feb, 2005): A Microsoft spokeswoman denied the outage was caused by the Bropia worm. Without elaborating on the true nature of the problem, the representative said the outage was caused by an "isolated issue that we've located in the data center." [Source: News.com]



 Display Picture vulnerability discovered in MSN Messenger 6
Display Picture vulnerability discovered in MSN Messenger 6

dwergs says ( 08 Feb 2005 ):

 

We have obtained new details on the previously announced Microsoft Security Bulletins. Core Security Technologies today published a vulnerability in MSN Messenger clients up to version 6. According to the report, using a specially-crafted MSN Display Picture, an attacker could trigger a buffer overflow vulnerability on a contact's computer and execute arbitrary code.

The attack would travel through the established chat session and would pass unnoticed by firewalls, network intrusion detection systems and even host-based personal firewalls and antivirus software. Windows Messenger and Windows Media Player are also affected by this vulnerability.

"This is a critical security flaw since it directly affects more than 130 million users and because the attack is very likely to go unnoticed by the several layers of security countermeasures commonly used today," said Ivan Arce, CTO at Core Security Technologies. "Since initially reporting the flaw, we have been working closely with [Microsoft] and we are pleased to see that a fix is now available."

NOTE: MSN Messenger 7 BETA is NOT vulnerable. Download it here.

>> Recommended read: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-009.

>> Join the February Security Bulletins webast for a brief overview of the technical details followed by an extensive Q&A session. Tomorrow at this time and recommended to IT professionals only.

[Source: Help Net Security & Core Security Technologies]



 More .NET Messenger Service Downtime!
More .NET Messenger Service Downtime!

Zero1 says ( 08 Feb 2005 ):

 

As many of you may have already noticed the .NET Messenger Service is unavailable at the moment. The official Messenger Sever Status site is showing runtime errors and the MSN Messenger software itself is displaying something similar to this error message:

"We were unable to sign you in to the .NET Messenger Service at this time. Please try again later. 80072745"

A very recent downtime, caused by a hardware problem, lasted a few long hours. Let's hope this one is over sooner!

May we also remind you of the fact that today we are expecting a security patch affecting MSN Messenger.

UPDATE: About two hours, later the .NET Messenger Service returned. We have no specifics on the cause of this downtime, and no Microsoft employee (not even a cleaning-lady) has been fired yet.



 EXCLUSIVE: New Messenger Plus! 3.50 feature REVEALED
<b>EXCLUSIVE</b>: New Messenger Plus! 3.50 feature <b>REVEALED</b>

dwergs says ( 07 Feb 2005 ):

 

I'm very excited and proud to exclusively announce the new "killer feature" Patchou has been working on for two months (which is a lot more than the time spent on anything else in Messenger Plus! since its creation). Get ready for Custom Emotion Sounds... to be included in the Messenger Plus! 3.50 release in March 2005!

The Custom Emotion Sound feature brings sound integration in MSN Messenger to the next level and allows you to add and send any sound you want to your contacts. Sounds can be created from sound files on your hard drive (like mp3s), recorded live from your microphone or imported directly from sound packs on the web.

>> Screenshot Custom Emotion Sounds: Sound received & Panel.

Each sound is cut (maximum of 10 seconds, more would just be annoying after a while) and automatically compressed to improve transfer time. The whole interface has been polished, wizards are extremely easy to use, recording and sound editing can be done with a couple of mouse clicks. As you can see, you don't have to be a sound engineer to use Custom Emotion Sounds

>> Screenshot Custom Emotion Sounds: Wizard.

In the chat window, a specially designed panel has been created to accommodate the new feature and is accessible from a new Messenger Plus! toolbar (those of you who will miss the 25 pixels of width can disable it and access the feature with a shortcut). The panel gives quick access to the sounds, organised by categories or stats, and also lets you instantly download new sounds at random from the web, including all the sounds previously sent by other people (except the sounds marked as by users as "private").

>> Screenshot: Custom Emotion Sounds: Get random sounds.

>> Screenshot Custom Emotion Sounds: Quick Access Panel.

messenger plus! custom emotion soundsWhen a sound is received, the message displayed (see image to the right) is similar to what Messenger displays for some of its features. You get a link to play or stop any of the previously sent sounds at any time. You also have the option to automatically download and automatically play new sounds when they arrive. And to conclude, any sound you receive is automatically added to your own personal sound library so that can send it back easily to somebody else.

>> Screenshot Custom Emotion Sounds: Personal Sound Library.

>> Screenshot Custom Emotion Sounds: Sound Properties.

More advanced users may have preferred something more "l33t", but from the usage stats Patchou has learned that the Sound Commands are the current most popular feature. And the few people who have already tested this feature just love it: "Itís like winks, only more fun and more usable during a conversation," said one happy BETA-tester.

This is the biggest, but definitely not the only improvement in the upcoming Messenger Plus! 3.50. But you'll hear more about that later!

UPDATE: A couple of other improvements were reported by Patchou: SSL support for POP3 Emails (needed for providers like GMail), less memory and system resources usage and various user interface improvements. And we already mentioned the improved Custom Names months ago.



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