[Dshield] More on Windows Messenger from Yesterday's Dartmouth Daily Feed

John Holmblad jholmblad at aol.com
Fri Oct 24 13:33:18 GMT 2003


as a followup to prior discussion on the Messenger service in Microsoft 
Windows here is a clip from yesterday's feed from  
dailyreport at ists.dartmouth.edu. The most recent release of the AOL "Fat 
Client" as well as the most recent release (7.1) of the AOL Netscape 
browser have build in spam filtering support. I am just getting familiar 
with it but  for the average end user it looks like a very useful feature.

Title: AOL quietly changes Windows settings to combat pop-up spam
Source: Security Focus (AP)
Date Written: October 23, 2003
Date Collected: October 23, 2003
    America Online (AOL) has begun turning off a Windows messaging
    feature on their customers' machines to prevent 'pop-up spam.'
    Pop-up spam exploits a little used networking feature in Windows
    that allows a network administrator to send messages to users.
    Spammers figured out how to use the same feature to send pop-up
    spam. Pop-up spam, unlike pop-up ads, does not require users to
    visit a website, but can appear at anytime. AOL says its turned off
    the feature for 15 million users, and will continue doing so for a
    few months. Cybersecurity experts have mixed reactions to AOL's
    tactic. Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer for Counterpane
    Internet Security says, "It's a very dangerous precedent in having
    companies go into your computer and turn things on and off. From
    there, it's easy to turn off competitors' services." AOL spokesman
    Andrew Weinstein says customers have been giving positive feedback
    to the move, and adds that AOL is closing a critical security hole
    Microsoft disclosed a week prior.


Best Regards,


John Holmblad


Televerage International


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