Windows 2000 (and other versions) ships with a service installed and running called WinPopup (well, technically it is called “Messenger” in the registry, but let's not confuse it with the Microsoft Messenger application). It allows the administrator to pop up messages on people's computers like “the network is going offline in 10 minutes.” A dialog box pops up with a date, a time, a “From” field, a “Message” field, and an “OK” button. The really fun thing about this service is that it is protected by absolutely no security. Any Linux box, running certain software, can send a message to any Windows box (assuming it is not hiding behind a firewall) that says anything you want with any name you want in the “From” field.
* various members of the programming staff sending popup messages to the sales staff
* messages that contain 'HEY! I'M BEING ANNOYING!” from “HaX0r”
* messages that contain “The World Wide Internet will reboot in 5 minutes” from “Al Gore”
* Putting a timer on when the messages get sent, such that the moment they the message pops up, you are standing by the printer or in the bathroom. They are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN they know who is sending the messages, then one pops up when that person is not around.
This post has been brought to you by the Linux command:
sleep 45 && echo “The World Wide Internet will be rebooting shortly” | smbclient -M sales -U 'Al Gore'
and the Windows command:
net stop Messenger
This sure beats reading the whitepapers I am supposed to be reading.