Microsoft Offers Robo-Tool For Killing Desktop Gadgets and Sidebar Due to Vulnerability Concerns

Brad Chacos

Are you disappointed that Windows 8 might not support Desktop Gadgets ? Then you really won't like this news: Microsoft wants you to stop using them on Windows 7 and Vista, too. Immediately. That's not because of some deep-rooted hate for the visual helpers, but because of concerns that hackers could use new Gadget and Sidebar exploits to deep-root your PC.

In a security advisory released yesterday , Microsoft announced that it has developed an automated Fix It for completely disabling Gadgets and Sidebars in current Windows devices. There's no word if a future patch would allow users to safely reactivate the software.

What's all the hub-bub about? Microsoft isn't saying, but ComputerWorld notes that two researchers plan on disclosing "a number of interesting attack vectors" in a seminar entitled "We Have You By The Gadgets" at the Black Hat conference later this month. In fact, the Microsoft security advisory specifically thanks Mickey Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg -- those very researchers -- "for working with us on Gadget vulnerabilities."

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