Upon getting back from my daily prescribed walk today, I found Microsoft’s IE or Internet Explorer has a major security flaw within its coding. Over the past month, one of the websites my husband’s been using for his
genealogy DNA research, has crashed and been rebuilt only for there to be more problems. We do know at one point the person who runs the site said it was DoS or Denial of Service attack, but maybe it was due to this security flaw.
From the range of articles I’ve read, IE versions 6-11 are the ones being targeted with these attacks. In fact, I’ve always told the learners I’ve taught in my computer classes to don’t just use Internet Explorer because it’s already loaded – you should load one of the others that are out there for FREE. Because of the issues with IE and its security flaws in the past, I wouldn’t recommend anyone use the software. However, I do know the places I teach do use this software only because of the ease of it being pre installed on the computers in the teaching lab. However, I always make a habit of telling and handing out students other software I would use.
In fact, Microsoft has issued a security advisory for a vulnerability in Internet Explorer that could allow for remote code execution. According to Techspot’s article “Microsoft acknowledges zero day vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer“,
“Microsoft claims an attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability then convince a user to view the website. If successful in infecting a system, an attacker could gain the same user rights as the current user.”
Again, so its user beware. Further, remember those users out there that use Windows XP, is no longer supported and so, will not receive any updates fixing that bug when they are released.
Reuters has more information within their article labelled “Microsoft rushes to fix browser after attacks; no fix for XP users“. Mashable has written an article as well regarding this problem.
What can you do? The short of it would be to use one of the other free browsers out there. Further, once this flaw is fixed, make sure you keep using one of these other browsers. It safe guards you a bit against someone trying to do exploit the security flaws in IE. I refer to IE’s security features as Swiss Cheese – hard to swallow and for some hard to pass as well.
The browsers which are free are:
And this is just to name a few….! Please make sure you look after your browsers because if you don’t, you’ll be paying in the long-term.
Updated: I’ve been reading Microsoft will deliver the patch for all versions of Internet Explorer on Thursday, 1 May 2014. This will include Windows RT as well. Further Windows XP, which Microsoft has stopped supporting earlier this year, will have a patch available too.
How do I get the patch that fixes the security flaw?
This is an easy fix – You just need to have your automatic updates turned on, or do an update of your windows software, and it will be updated. This is the only action you need to take apparently.
To read more, please read the article “Internet Explorer Gets Its Security Patch, and So Does Windows XP” by Lance Ulanoff