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

Paul Marsh pmarsh at nmefdn.org
Fri Oct 24 14:20:26 GMT 2003

I understand what AOL is doing/trying to accomplish, not sure if I
agree. This could be a scary piece of business.  I've read people
complaining about what MS is doing to there system when you download
patches.  IMO it's one thing when a OS manufacturer patches a system but
I think it's another when an ISP start tinkering with and OS.  Yes their
only shutting down a service but it does not give me any warm and
fuzzies.  I think we'll here MS chime in on this one.

Just my 2 cents

Thanx, Paul

-----Original Message-----
From: John Holmblad [mailto:jholmblad at aol.com] 
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 09:33 AM
To: General DShield Discussion List
Subject: [Dshield] More on Windows Messenger from Yesterday's
DartmouthDaily Feed


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

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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