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November 17, 2010

Is your Instant Messenger safe?

        Currently there are no widespread outbreaks of malicious code circulating via instant messaging. In the past, however, some malicious code did take advantage of IM. Always use normal security precautions whenever you use IM.

How They Attack?


Malware


How You Know
  • IM attachments, just like email attachments, can carry destructive viruses, Trojan horses, and worms
  • Some new worms use IM software to send themselves to every member of your buddy list
What To Do
  • Don't open attachments or click on Web links sent by someone you don't know
  • Don't send files over IM
  • If a person on your Buddy list is sending strange messages, files, or web site links, terminate your IM session

SPAM

How You Know
  • Some Spam can contain offensive language or links to Web sites with inappropriate content
What To Do
  • Reject all Instant Messages from persons who are not on your Buddy list
  • Do not click on URL links within IM unless from a known source and expected

Vulnerabilities

How You Know
  • Most instant messages still travel unencrypted across the Internet, exposing private conversations to anyone who can find a way to listen in.
 What To Do

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