Thursday, September 13, 2007

MSN Messenger hijacked by Verizon?

I first had this problem last week. I have MSN Messenger set up to open automatically when I start my computer. This is very convenient: I have a bunch of contacts on MSN Messenger with whom I like to chat, and I can jump onto my Hotmail account with a single click. Or I can just let the MSN window open up and I get a rotating list of headlines, feature stories, and the most recent arrivals to my Hotmail inbox.

Only last week I noticed that when I clicked on the little envelope symbol for Hotmail, I was taken not to Hotmail but to a page that was asking me to enter my Verizon mail address and password. How did this happen? I use Verizon for DSL internet access, but I hadn't clicked on anything that should have opened a Verizon page. I closed the window and went back to the main MSN Messenger window and noticed something odd. Instead of saying "MSN Windows Live" at the top, it now said "Verizon Windows Live". Otherwise the window looked pretty much the same - same portrait picture of me, same list of contacts - except now, the blue envelope for MSN Hotmail had been replaced by a red envelope for Verizon e-mail.

This freaked me out a bit. One of the last messages I got from my other computer before it died a few weeks ago was that it had been infected with a DNS redirect virus - something that would cause web addresses to be redirected to other, potentially hostile locations. Was this the same sort of thing?

I had been receiving sporadic messages from MSN Messenger over the past few weeks was that it couldn't do this or that because I might not have the most recent updates. I decided that maybe it was time to update now. An hour or so and two attempts later and I was back in business with MSN Messenger. That was weird, I thought.

As we left church this past Saturday my cousin was telling a friend that she had had the same sort of problem with her MSN Messenger. So it wasn't just me.

Yesterday after work I switched on my computer and opened up MSN Messenger. I went to check my Hotmail - and was redirected once again to Verizon mail. I was back to where I had started.

So what's going on? I don't know. I don't appreciate anything hijacking anything else on my computer. When I open up MSN Messenger, I expect to open MSN Messenger, not a Verizon equivalent. Is this some sort of shaitan's deal between MSN and Verizon? Or is there something in the fine print of my agreement with Vesizon for DSL service that grants them the right to take over services on my computer as they see fit? Either way, I'm a little miffed. I'll do a little digging. If anyone else has experienced this problem, I'd love to hear how you dealt with it!


Anonymous said...

I'm having the same problem and cannot figure out how to remove Verizon from my MSN Messenger. I'm pissed!! I cannot receive any messages that my contacts leave me while I'm offline. I've searched everywhere trying to find a resolution to this problem and had no success. Grrrrrrrrrr I may just have to call Verizon if a quick fix cannot be found.

Fold My Laundry Please said...

I am having this very same problem! It's so frustrating! My husband's computer is networked to mine right next to me and he is not having this problem at all. I haven't been able to find any answers to how to fix it. When I turned on my computer the other day, I was greeted with a message saying that messenger couldn't open any more and that I needed to update. Ever since then, I've been stuck with Verizon stuff popping up every where. Please let me know if you find a cure to this evil disease!

fold my laundry please said...

I did a little searching on the net about this and found an article about the mandatory upgrades of messenger.,1895,1764112,00.asp
I'm assuming Verizon is just taking advantage of this security breach. Hopefully, MSN will catch on quick and issue a fix for it.