Industry News

Microsoft Disables Windows Sidebar and Gadgets to Keep Users Safe

To avoid a possible security flaw, Microsoft made available a fix to disable Windows Sidebar and Gadgets in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The software company intends to keep its users protected in case they run insecure Gadgets that may trigger the execution of arbitrary code by the windows Sidebar and Gadgets.

“An attacker who successfully exploited a Gadget vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user,” Microsoft points out in a security advisor published on July 10. “If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take complete control of the affected system.”

This makes it clear that an attacker can do whatever he wants on the compromised system, such as install or uninstall programs, change, add or delete data, and, worse, generate new accounts endowed with full user privileges. It becomes clear that users who configured their accounts to have fewer user rights on the system will be safer than those “who operate with administrative user rights”.

The Sidebar is an application on one side of the desktop screen to accommodate Gadgets – small applications that display user information such as favorite news feeds, clock or temperature. And should these Gadgets originate from unsafe sources, they can become a hazard to the system and the user.

About the author

Loredana BOTEZATU

A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.