Install the latest Messenger security update email!

For those of you who have received an email message from [email protected] instructing you to download the latest security updates for Windows Live Messenger and haven’t raised your eyebrows then you need to be more security pro. Whether this email is a scam or not, it’s hard to tell for sure but I would like to attempt a quick check for its validity. One thing is for sure; do not click any links in this message before you do your checks!

Firstly, I would assume that is a genuine domain owned by Microsoft, I would have trusted more though! Trying this domain in my browser gives an error, while trying loads Windows Live home page, so I am still without any clue! Even the username part of this email address seems slightly exaggerated but it happens with big organizations.

email message.JPG

Secondly, I would invoke a couple of tools hoping that one of them would give me a definite answer. The online whois query tools for registration information would verify as a Microsoft registered domain but it wouldn’t help me verifying the subdomain I can check the domain against a couple of Malware Domain lists available on the net. Some tools like would resolve the full domain name to an IP address and then test that IP address against public available blacklists such as, There I find some useful utilities that help me do a reverse lookup, port scan, etc. Eventually, the results of these tests do not incriminate the domain or IP as malicious.

Finally, if you have an isolated network with a test VM, you can test the Download Now link within the email message and monitor its behavior. Up to this step, I felt confident that this email message is a valid one, however, the link redirect sometimes failed while other times ended up at Windows Live Messenger 2011 home page. I would conclude that this is more a hasty and ill-planned message rather than a scam but I went through this process for the sole purpose of making you aware of the tools available and steps taken when verifying suspicious emails.

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