How To Protect Against “Yahoo! Messenger” Booting and Spam

November 27, 2008

How To Protect Against “Yahoo! Messenger” Booting and Spam
~James Dunn

Booting relates to someone intentionally sending a series of commands, only in Yahoo Messenger, that causes Yahoo Messenger to freeze up and possibly reset your computer. This problem has nothing to do with your Yahoo account.

The following was an automated response related to “Booting”, “Harassment”, & “Threats” on Yahoo Messenger. I have added information in brackets […]. To my knowledge, Yahoo makes no other action when reporting a violator.

__________________________________

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

We are very sorry that you are feeling threatened in any way. However,
there are a few things you can do to take some immediate action.

[Ensure you are using the most current version of Yahoo! Messenger.

http://messenger.yahoo.com/

The current version of Yahoo Messenger has been updated to help block users from causing a buffer over run; which causes Messenger to fail, and sometimes the PC to reboot. The following describes the security weakness and refers the user to update Yahoo Messenger with version 8.

http://messenger.yahoo.com/security_update.php?id=120806

Somone on your “Friends” list in Yahoo Messenger is the one who is harrassing you. They have created an alternative profile in their account and is using this profile to send harrassing messages and send the booting sequence to shut down messenger and possibly your computer. If you get their full alternate user ID, you can go to

http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/messenger/messenger8/form_messenger8-141297….

to report their abuse to Yahoo.

If this doesn’t work, you may be able to find out who the culprit is by adding half of your “Friends” to another account. Switch back and forth between your two accounts to stay in contact with your friends. You may have different Groups set up and you can move that entire group. Then watch for the boot sequence to start. If it happens on the new account, the booter is one of the “Friends” in the new account. If it is still in the old account, they are one of your Friends in the old account.

Move half of the “Friends” from the offending account to the safe account. Wait for the booter to send a boot sequence. If it still happens on the new account, you have isolated the booter to be in that group.

Continue to divide by half and move “Friends”, in a short time you will isolate the booter down to one user ID. You can then add them to your Ignore list, and then, delete them from your account. Then of course, after you verify that you no longer are being harrassed, report them on the Yahoo! Messenger Abuse form.

http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/messenger/messenger8/form_messenger8-141297….

The other abusive situation falls under the same circumstance, you get all these sex related spam messages, and when you hit Ignore, they just keep coming back. The problem is that one of the people on your Friends list has created an alternate profile under the same username that you see on your Friends list. This allows them to send you spam and harrassing messages because the Friends list has priority over the Ignore list. If you have someone spamming you, check your Friends list and delete anyone you think has the potential of spamming you. Likely suspects are the ones that never chat with you, they are just on your Friends list.]

First, if you feel threatened by the person harassing you we suggest you
contact your local law enforcement immediately and explain the situation
to them. You should be able to find the phone number for your local law
enforcement agency (be that a Police or Sheriff Department) in your
local phone book or by using Yahoo! Directory Search located here:

http://search.yahoo.com/dir

Second, we would recommend that you never accept blind invitations to
add someone to your friends list, join in any type of photo sharing, or
communicate with someone you don’t know personally.

Third, we suggest putting the person who is conducting the harassment on
your ignore list. To do this please follow the instructions listed
below:

For Windows Messenger
————————————
In order to ignore a user, they cannot be on your friends list in
Messenger. So if you have them there you must delete the contact from
your Messenger List in order to ignore them. Your friends list will
supersede your ignore list.

When you ignore a contact, you always appear to be offline to the
contact. They can never view your status or send you an IM.

To ignore a contact:

1. Click the “Messenger” menu in Yahoo! Messenger and select
“Preferences.”
2. Click the “Ignore List” category.
3. Select the option labeled “Ignore only the people below.”
4. Click the “Add” button.
5. Enter the yahoo_user_id of the contact you want to ignore.
6. Click the “Ignore” button.
7. Click “OK” at the bottom of the window.
8. You can ignore up to 100 contacts.

Please Note: You can remove a contact from your Ignore List by selecting
the yahoo_user_id and clicking the “Remove” button.

To ignore anyone who is not on your Messenger List:

1. Click the “Messenger” menu in Yahoo! Messenger and select
“Preferences.”
2. Click the “Ignore List” category.
3. Select the option labeled “Ignore anyone who is not on my Messenger
List.”
4. Click “OK” at the bottom of the window.

For Mac Messenger
—————————–

To ignore a specific user:

1. Click the “Friends” from the menu bar and then select the “Edit
Ignore List” option.

2. Please enter the Yahoo ID of the person you wish to ignore. Make sure
that you type it exactly as it appears on your screen.

3. click the “Add” button and then click the “Done” button.

To ignore anyone who is not on your friend list:

1. Click the “Friends” from the menu bar and then select the “Edit
Ignore List” option.

2. Enable “Ignore anyone who is not in my Friend List” and then click
the “Done” button. You will always appear offline to anyone who is not
on your Friend List.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

Regards,

Yahoo! Customer Care

For assistance with all Yahoo! services please visit:

http://help.yahoo.com/

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