Users running Windows Vista and Windows 7 are being told to disable their Sidebar and Gadgets by Microsoft as a result of a serious security threat.
The Windows Sidebar allows small programs (Gadgets) to add features and functionality to your desktop such as clocks, weather, system resource monitoring, etc.
Naked Security says:
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.
Read their entire article on Naked Security which includes some background on what’s behind Microsoft’s warning.
Microsoft’s security advisory says:
Disabling the Windows Sidebar and Gadgets can help protect customers from vulnerabilities that involve the execution of arbitrary code by the Windows Sidebar when running insecure Gadgets.
The security advisory, published July 10, 2012, can be read in its entirety at Microsoft’s Security TechCenter – Microsoft Security Advisory (2719662): Vulnerabilities in Gadgets Could Allow Remote Code Execution.
More information, including Microsoft’s suggested solution, can be found on Microsoft’s TechNet Article ID 2719662 – Microsoft Security Advisory: Vulnerabilities in Gadgets could allow remote code execution.