while the next version of Messenger Plus! is being tested, I thought I should write about two things that have been affecting the software recently. One is good, one is bad. Let's start with the later, I'll talk about happy things next time.
A new kind of scam
has grown popular since last year. Some people have been registering domain names that look similar to mine in order to get money from my users. Some of these sites try to look like legitimate download sites, offering lots of other programs, while others bluntly rip off parts of the official site to look official. In every situation, the setup file downloaded from these sites asks to input a code which is generally obtained by paying a couple of dollars or euros by the mean of text messages (SMS) sent from your mobile phone. Some of these sites even replace their download link with a legitimate one from time to time to stay unnoticed for a longer period of time.
While we are still trying to shut down many of these sites, the problem is now important enough to give a clear official warning: Messenger Plus! is a very popular product and for that reason, is an easy target for scammers. Legitimate download sites will never, ever, ask you for any kind of monetary compensation
to download or install Messenger Plus!, its scripts or its skins. If you have any doubt, go directly to msgpluslive.net
to get your files and when recommending the program to your friends, give them a proper url. Don't let them search for the software in a search engine as I've seen some of the bad sites advertising on Google, making the scam a very easy one to push onto some people.
Messenger Plus! is a software that's free to download, free to install, and free to enjoy. If you fear a setup file you downloaded may have been tampered with, check its digital signature (right-click and select Properties
). All the binary files I distribute are signed by "Patchou" with a VeriSign Class 3 certificate. If Windows displays anything else than "Patchou" and "Messenger Plus! Live" when you try to launch the setup, the file was not approved by me for public distribution and for that reason, it should not be trusted.
In order to conclude this news post, I can't help myself but to point out something obvious and pathetic. In my opinion, problems like this one should be easily avoidable in our time. Sites registered by scammers should be recorded in some kind of big online database and people who try to access them should receive an appropriate warning. This is the job you would expect big security companies such as McAfee to perform well and as it turns out, McAfee
offers this kind of service already! it's called SiteAdvisor
and you can even install an add-on to automatically protect you while you surf. The problem? According to their database, msgpluslive.net
is rated red with a big "don't go there" cross and is said to link to "unwanted programs", including 11 "trojans". If you check messengerplus.ms
, one of the scammers' web sites, you'll see a green checkmark and a note: "We tested this site and didn't find any significant problems". Life goes on...