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Microsoft's solution: turn the whole damn thing off.A Fix It Solution, which Microsoft describes as 'not intended to be a replacement for any security update,' disables the Sidebar functionality entirely in order to protect users from attack.Hosting business logic on a server and the presentation logic on the client (the gadget) allows for discrete updates with little to no intervention by end users.

sidebar news gadget not updating-84

Sidebar news gadget not updating

Worse yet, if the user of the compromised computer has administrative rights on a network, the hacker could take complete control of the affected system, making it possible for them to install programs, view, change, or delete data, or create new accounts with full user rights, the advisory stated.

The advice to disable Gadgets, for those who still use them, comes shortly before security researchers are scheduled to make a presentation on Gadget vulnerabilities at the annual Black Hat USA 2012 security industry conference beginning July 21 in Las Vegas.

Introduced in Windows Vista, the Sidebar and its associated Gadgets functionality was supposed to make users' lives easier.

The sidebar could contain active content, providing weather information, a clock, network status, system status, unread email counts, or almost any other piece of information the user desired.

Microsoft has issued a security advisory urging users to install an update that disables the Sidebar and Gadgets features on Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems due to a potential security vulnerability.

The security advisory warns that a hacker could get into a user€™s system through an insecure Gadget running in Sidebar, execute arbitrary code and wreak havoc on the system.

For those who still want the Sidebar, there is little in the way of attack mitigation at present - aside from running Microsoft's Sidebar-killer and installing a third-party application designed to perform the same task.

Security-conscious users running any Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 7, Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista Service Pack 1 build are advised to download and apply the patch, which can be found on Microsoft's support site.

On July 26, researchers Mickey Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg will present €œWe Have You By The Gadgets€ that will detail the risks.€œWe will be talking about the Windows Gadget platform and the nastiness that can be done with it, how Gadgets are made, how they are distributed and, more importantly, their weaknesses,€ reads a synopsis of their presentation on the Black Hat conference Website.

Gadgets have been written in Java Script, Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), say the researchers, who will also explain how malicious gadgets can be created and how even legitimately created Gadgets can be misappropriated by hackers.

Microsoft closed the Windows Live Gallery at which users could select Gadgets to run in Sidebar in 2011, so the end of the feature was already preordained.€œBecause we want to focus on the exciting possibilities of the newest version of Windows, the Windows Website no longer hosts the Gadget gallery,€ Microsoft explained last year.

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