Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Something Untoward in the Latest Yahoo Messenger

This is a personal and anecdotal story, but here's what happened. I just downloaded the latest version of Yahoo Messenger (msgr75us.exe). The first thing I had to do to install it was to turn of Data Execution Protection in Windows. I've had to do that with a few older programs, but what is up with this in a brand new version of Yahoo Messenger? Just how are they burrowing into my computer?

Something smells bad about this. Add to that the fact it crashed on the install in spite of me giving it a pass through DEP, and the fact that it required a Macromedia download when I finally got the install to proceed on the third try, and I got rid of it. I went back to version seven. (OldVersion.com)

This version includes an annoying animated ad at the bottom of the contacts list that I'm unable to hide. That was just the frosting on the Yahoo Messenger crud cake. And the cherry on top is the AT&T co-branding -- yuk! As to the ad, I don't mind looking at an ad in return for a service, but the minute you flash it at me it annoys me and I will do just about anything to get rid of it. I did.

Yahoo Messenger never has been the best of the best, but IMHO right now the current version is worse than useless. And I ask again, just why does it need DEP privileges? Something stinks here. I think I'll run Rootkit Revealer just to be on the safe side.

UPDATE: For the time being, you can get the last stable version (7.02) of Yahoo Messenger here. FYI no version is bug free, but this is the best IMHO.

4 comments:

  1. Okay. I guess this is where I bring up GAIM. It handles every messenger protocol I know of and just works. It doesn't have all the features of Yahoo's messenger app or Microsoft's either, for all that. But GAIM doesn't collect info, take over anything or do anything behind your back.

    Get it here for Mac, Linux or Windows. It's all I use, any more.

    Jack

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  2. My guess, and it is only that, is the yahoo toolbar maybe in IE? I can see why that might(?). So, as I delve into what DEP does... at Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2: Part 3: Memory Protection Technologies the most ironic, in my opinion, statement was:
    "A secondary benefit of DEP relates to good engineering and best practices for application and driver developers. Data execution prevention forces developers to avoid executing code out of data pages without explicitly marking the pages as executable."
    Yahoo not using "best practices?"
    Basically, the info I read speaks of "The primary benefit of data execution prevention is that it helps to prevent code execution from data pages such as the default heap, various stacks and memory pools." Whatever that means lol
    No explicit reference to IE exploits, it seems, just general memory pointer errors, I think. :)

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  3. Yes, I'm not sure of all the ins and outs, but DEP will prevent certain malware from running. So IMO, when Yahoo Messenger is either so poorly written or so invasive as to need a DEP exemption it is bad for your computer. The only programs I have ever had to issue exceptions for are RegSupremePro (the pay for version of RegCleaner) and I figure that it delves into the system deeply enough that the exemption is legitimate.

    Other than that, the programs are older and I only have a total of 4 exemptions including RegSupremePro. Everything else runs without my giving it an exemption. So as well as the things I can see that are bad about Yahoo Messenger, having to issue and exemption just solidifies my opionion that I don't want the "new" Yahoo Messenger on my machine.

    On a slightly different note, I tried GAIM last night, but am not pleased with the lack of control I have over font size. I need to use a very small font in GAIM or the font is very large in Yahoo Messenger to the person on the other end and that is unaccpetable. Even if I lose file transfer capablities I'd love to get off of the Yahoo messenger traib. Why can't Yahoo write a small non-invasive version with a tasteful ad -- I'd use it and perhaps even click on the ad, but like I said, if it flashes, twirls, spins or otherwise annoys me, bye-bye.

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  4. Heres what I do: Im still using yahoo messenger version 5.5 and I used an app called yahoo ad remover to stop the ads from showing up for good.

    Yahoo Messenger is just like Realplayer, it started out as a useful program, now it's so cluttered with sloppy execution, advertisements and spyware that it's downright useless.

    You know how in yahoo messenger when you go to a chatroom you have to connect first? That's a bunch of BS to show you advertisements. I have the older version of yahoo - no "connection" necesary. (they may have done away with that, but last time i was on a newer version I saw that)

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