Internet Explorer Browser Users Are Vulnerable to Attack

Department of Homeland Security issues warning.

An announcement posted to Patch by the Connecticut Better Business Bureau News

A vulnerability in Microsoft’s popular Internet Explorer web browser can allow a “remote, unauthorized attack” on users’ computers, the company announced over the weekend via a Service Advisory. Although it is working to fix the problem, the company suggests “workarounds.”

Better Business Bureau emphasizes that these sort of exploits are the main reason to keep software up-to-date and apply operating system patches and updates when they are released.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is urging computer users to employ Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) if possible, or temporarily switch to a different browser until an official update is made available.

The “use-after-free” vulnerability can allow remote attackers to install code on a user’s computer without authorization.  Versions 6 through 11 of Internet Explorer (IE) are vulnerable, and users who still have the Windows XP operating system are at greater risk because the company is no longer supporting the product.

 Better Business Bureau is joining with security experts in recommending that IE users take the following steps:

 Download the EMET on your computer for additional protection (although it may not mitigate this particular vulnerability);

Temporarily switch to a different web browser, such as Google’s Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox.

Disable Adobe Flash, as the attack may not work without it.

Windows XP users should upgrade their operating system or disconnect the computer from the Internet, as the company no longer supports this version of Windows. 

-By Howard Schwartz, Executive Communications Director, Connecticut Better Business Bureau

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Concerned Parent May 01, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Stephanie, what you are going to see is that those websites, mostly social, will be the ones hit, eg. Instagram, Facebook, etc., so the hacker can get the biggest bang for the buck. You need to understand how to surf the web and what to watch out for. For instance, if you find you visit a site, which normally has quick response but for some reason is slower, that should raise an eyebrow and actually disconnect from the Internet and avoid that website. Also, make sure your computer is set to do automatic backups so you can restore your computer just in case. Most people don't know what they are doing and will click on a link on a website or a phishing email. If you are smart and responsible in the manner you surf the web, you should not have any problems. Bottom line, people today think the Internet is their own little playground and believe what they do is "private", which it is not. The sooner people understand this fact and begin to better understand and respect the Internet will be the 1st defense against these types of intrusions.
Concerned Parent May 01, 2014 at 10:20 AM
@Thomas, not at all. Understanding signs of intrusion is key, so if you see them, you can take action before it is too late. This does not happen magically, the user needs to do something for any intrusion to happen so it is up the user to be responsible and cognoscente of their activity on the internet.
Frank May 01, 2014 at 12:09 PM
I use a Mac and Safari for a browser, never a virus or any kind of attack. Go Mac and solve these problems.
John Plamondon May 01, 2014 at 05:02 PM
Issue is fixed, even for XP users. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/05/01/microsoft-internet-explorer-fix-includes-windows-xp/?mod=WSJ_TechWSJD_NeedToKnow


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