Microsoft disabled hotlinks in their Messenger 09 (Messenger 14) product on November 13th, 2009.
There has been a recent spread of malicious links that can infect your computer with a virus and has prompted Microsoft to disable hotlinks in messenger. They recommend you upgrade to the latest version of messenger and that the disabled links are temporary.
If you are anything like me, you don’t want to be forced to do something that someone else imposes on you. The new messenger kind of sucks. Microsoft took out one of the best features – hand writing – so “upgrading” isn’t an option, at least not for me.
1) Download a free hex-editor program. I recommend XVI32.
2) Exit messenger completely.
3) Open XVI32, and then open the msnmgr.exe file that is located in your program files directory.
C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Messenger\msnmsgr.exe
4) Click “search”, then “find”, search for “hotlinks” (without quotes).
6) Save the file
7) Restart MSN
You should be good to go.
If you found this to difficult, I’ve uploaded the modified version for you to download. This is for messenger version 2009, Build 14.0.8117.416 only.
Why does this work?
I searched in the Registry looking for obvious items that would enable / disable this function in messenger, but I couldn’t find anything. Since this started happening without an upgrade, I knew there was something being sent from Microsoft that was disabling hotlinking.
I opened up wireshark and started MSN looking for packets that had to be sent from the server to our messengers as a disabler. I found a packet that contained this:
<cli maj=”14″ min=”0″ minbld=”0″ maxbld=”9999″ deny=”hotlinks” />
HOTLINKS! I knew that had to be it. I couldn’t intercept the packet or change it (at least not easily) so the next best option was to manually edit the code in messenger so that “hotlinks” was no longer a keyword for the application at startup. By changing it to “totlinks“, your msn will never disable “hotlinks”, unless of course microsoft starts sending “deny=”totlinks” in their login process – but then we will just change it to something more crateive, like “bigboobs”.