Microsoft is warning people who run Windows 7 and Windows Vista on their computers to disable sidebar gadgets – those add-ons that let you see the weather or calendar or latest news or whatever. Looks like it might have been tipped off to potential vulnerabilities by researchers, who are set to speak at a black hat conference later this month and give a talk about how to exploit the problem and install rogue gadgets.
Clearly Microsoft is worried about the security researchers’ findings, and has issued a “Fix It Tool” which will protect Windows 7 and Vista users by entirely disabling the Windows Sidebar and Gadgets functionality.
Yes, that’s right. Microsoft hasn’t issued a security patch to fix the vulnerability. They’re suggesting you completely nuke your Windows Sidebar and Gadgets.
It doesn’t look like Microsoft is going to issue a real fix for this problem, other than shutting it down altogether, since the gadget sidebar has already been nixed from the upcoming release of Windows 8.