The following instructions have been created to help you to get rid of "MessengerSkinner.rtk" manually.
Use this guide at your own risk; software should usually be better suited to remove malware, since it is able to look deeper.

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Threat Details:

Categories:
  • trojan

Description:
MessengerSkinner is adware but does not disclose this material fact on its website or software outside the terms and conditions. The advertising component always runs in background and can even stay on the users computer 3 month after the user has uninstalled the MessengerSkinner software. Some parts of the MessengerSkinner is installed hidden from the Windows API (rootkit functionality) which is also not stated anywhere. These hidden parts do not uninstall with the rest of the software and keep running in background.
Supposed Functionality:
supposed to deliver smileys for the MSN Messenger
Privacy Statement:
Quote from EULA:
The Software includes a component which will remain active at all times with the objective of verifying and ensuring the correct functioning of the Software, and offering other advantages (ďComponentĒ). When the User is connected to the Internet the Component will make periodic connections to the Providerís servers in order to check that there are no problems in the access network or the Userís Computer. If any error which prevents the normal use of the Software is detected in the Userís Computer, the Component will seek to identify and solve it. Any changes that the Component makes to the Userís Computer will be to clearly non-essential parts thereof and for the purposes referred to in these Conditions. THE USER REQUESTS AND AUTHORIZES THE INSTALLATION AND UPDATING OF THIS COMPONENT TOGETHER WITH THE SOFTWARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS SET OUT IN THESE CONDITIONS. The Component will carry out the tasks described in these Conditions only when the User is connected to the Internet, whether using the Software or the Userís regular Internet connection. In any case, the User can easily uninstall the Software or the Component by selecting ďAccess ConnectionĒ and ďComponent Add-OnĒ respectively in the appropriate section of the operating system control panel. Users should be aware that upon such uninstallation, the advertising messages might be sent during a period of three months after said uninstallation, the benefits provided by the Component will not be available and in certain cases the Software (if retained) or the Providerís services may not function correctly.
Removal Instructions:

Autorun:

Please use Spybot-S&D, RunAlyzer or msconfig.exe to remove the following autorun entries.
  • Entries named "messengerskinner" and pointing to "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\MessengerSkinner.exe".

Installed Software List:

You can try to uninstall products with the names listed below; for items identified by other properties or to avoid malware getting active again on uninstallation, use Spybot-S&D or RunAlyzer to locate and get rid of these entries.
  • Products that have a key or property named "MessengerSkinner".

Files:

Please use Windows Explorer or another file manager of your choice to locate and delete these files.
  • The file at "<$SYSDIR>\<$REGMATCH1>.exe".
  • The file at "<$SYSDIR>\<$REGMATCH1>.dat".
  • The file at "<$SYSDIR>\<$REGMATCH1>_navps.dat".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\uninst.exe".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\MessengerSkinner.exe".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\MessengerSkinnerDll.dll".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\Terms and conditions.url".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\uninst.exe".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\Website.url".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\download\defaultPack.cab".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\appconfig.xml".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btn.rgn".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnBnr.rgn".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnIn.rgn".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnInNormal.bmp".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnInOver.bmp".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnNormal.bmp".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnNormal.gif".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnNormalBnr.bmp".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnNormalBnr.gif".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnOver.bmp".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnOver.gif".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnOverBnr.bmp".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\btnOverBnr.gif".
  • The file at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources\languages_v2.xml".
  • The file at "<$WINDIR>\pack.epk".
  • The file at "<$SYSDIR>\nvs2.inf".
  • The file at "<$WINDIR>\Temp\msksetup.log".
  • The file at "<$WINDIR>\Temp\NSIS_install_msgskinner.exe".
Make sure you set your file manager to display hidden and system files. If MessengerSkinner.rtk uses rootkit technologies, use our RootAlyzer or our Total Commander anti-rootkit plugins.
You will have to use a global search for files without a name specified. Be extra careful, because just the name might not be enough to identify files!

Important: There are more files that cannot be safely described in simple words. Please use Spybot-S&D to remove them.

Folders:

Please use Windows Explorer or another file manager of your choice to locate and delete these folders.
  • The directory at "<$APPDATA>\MessengerSkinner".
  • The directory at "<$APPDATA>\MessengerSkinner\Userdata".
  • The directory at "<$PROGRAMS>\MessengerSkinner".
  • The directory at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner".
  • The directory at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\download".
  • The directory at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\resources".
  • The directory at "<$PROGRAMFILES>\MessengerSkinner\updates".
Make sure you set your file manager to display hidden and system files. If MessengerSkinner.rtk uses rootkit technologies, use our RootAlyzer or our Total Commander anti-rootkit plugins.
You will have to use a global search for files without a name specified. Be extra careful, because just the name might not be enough to identify folders!

Registry:

You can use regedit.exe (included in Windows) to locate and delete these registry entries.
  • Delete the registry key "MessengerSkinner" at "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\".
  • Delete the registry key "MessengerSkinner.exe" at "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\".
If MessengerSkinner.rtk uses rootkit technologies, use our RegAlyzer, RootAlyzer or our Total Commander anti-rootkit plugins.

Final Words:

If neither Spybot-S&D nor self help did resolve the issue or you would prefer one on one help,
  1. Please read these instructions before requesting assistance,
  2. Then start your own thread in the Malware Removal Forum where a volunteer analyst will advise you as soon as available.


There are more files or system entries belonging to this product that <$SPYBOTSD> can remove, but that cannot be easily described in text. Please use <$SPYBOTSD> to make sure <$PRODUCTNAME> gets completely removed.