Overnight, news has broke out about a security fault in Microsoft Internet Explorer – the web/internet browser that comes installed in Microsoft Windows.
This “Zero Day” exploit is believed to exist in all versions of Internet Explorer. Microsoft is yet to release a patch for it.
What does this exploit do?
If you visit a website that has been compromised (hacked), hackers can inject software into your computer without your knowledge or permission. This is referred to as a “drive-by attack”.
This means that until Microsoft releases a patch for this problem, using Internet Explorer to browse the internet puts your computers at HIGH RISK of being infected by viruses and malware.
Whilst you may not visit “bad” sites, thousands of websites get compromised each day by hackers who look for faults in website software. If they are successful, they can then insert malicious code.
This means you could be visiting a business website, which if it were hacked, could inadvertently inject your computer with viruses and trojans – just like CryptoLocker, the virus that encrypts all your files!
What should you do?
Till a patch is released by Microsoft, use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome to browse the internet.
If you have a business website, make sure your web developers have updated the software it runs on to ensure that your website(s) are protected against hackers looking for websites to attack.
Install a content filtering firewall in your business to help reduce the chance that you and your team visit compromised websites. Content filtering firewalls allow you to create internet access policies which limit non-productive and unknown website access, and are able to identify malicious data before your computer sees it – adding an extra level of protection to your computer network.
The bad news for XP…..
As Microsoft has retired support for Windows XP earlier this month, there is little to no chance that we’ll see a security patch for XP. If you are still running Windows XP, you now have even more incentive to upgrade!