The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is set to air concerns today over the exploitation of a service in Microsoft's Windows software designed to allow network administrators to send notices to users.
The Windows Messenger Service (WMS) normally used for sending information, such as messages that print jobs have been completed, is being targeted by third parties to send pop-up spam. The problem was first highlighted by ISP AOL which
removed WMS from its service back in October following a flood of complaints from users.
The problem can even arise when consumers are using other applications, such as word processing, while connected to the internet, according to the FTC
The FTC has scheduled a press conference for later today to address consumer concerns about the service. The agency said that it would also provide details on how consumers can avoid the problem.
Last month, Microsoft executives announced that they had plans to disable the Messenger Service on Windows XP machines and activate the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) by default to protect computers from the attacks. The changes are slated for release in Windows XP Service Pack 2.
However, company representatives have said that they have not ruled out the possibility of shutting down the service earlier.
Federal Trade Commission