Security Alert For Internet Explorer Users
Now it’s Internet Explorer…….
Another week, another major security flaw to hit the headlines globally. A couple of weeks ago it was Heartbleed, now it’s Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and not just one version of Internet Explorer but IE 6 right through to the current version which is 11.
Over the weekend, Microsoft revealed that there is a newly discovered security flaw in Internet Explorer that hackers are exploiting. It is called a “zero day” exploit because there was zero time between the discovery of the flaw and the first known exploits by hackers.
The flaw affects nearly half of all browsers used for accessing the web. Although the affected browsers include Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11, the primary targets, according to FireEye, the security firm that discovered the exploit, are versions 9 through 11.
Microsoft is investigating the flaw and has not yet issued a security patch. As a result, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which is part of the U.S. Department for Homeland Security, has recommended that users either 1) follow workarounds listed by Microsoft in a security advisory or 2) stop using Internet Explorer altogether until a patch is made available.
For those still using Windows XP, no patch will be made available because Microsoft ended support for XP on April 8, 2014. If you use Windows XP, US-CERT advises using another web browser like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
This is another wake-up call to everyone who believes they're safe on the internet or that “no hackers would be bothered with me”. Hackers will be bothered because once they create a malicious piece of software it spreads incredibly quickly and easily and gets copied by other hackers into so many different other forms, they don’t specifically target you, but if you make yourself an target then you’re asking for trouble.
If there’s two things as a minimum you should be doing, it’s securely protecting your IT systems and devices by having multiple secure “layers” of protection including anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-malware and a hardware firewall as well as keeping your software including Windows fully patched.
About the Author
Geoff Stewart is a highly experienced and skilled Technology Director at Surety IT. His knowledge is based on years of industry experience having created customised, stable, well performing systems both for multi-national companies in the UK and Australia and Surety IT customers.
Surety IT can help you create the right system to enhance your business, ensuring you know how it is right for you and how to use it. We will tailor a solution to suit your needs with leading systems, local support and more, building your vision for a more flexible and capable business.