Microsoft patching perilous hole in IE Web browser

May 1, 2014
The Microsoft logo is seen before the start of a media event in San Francisco, California on Thursday, March 27, 2014

Microsoft Thursday released a patch for a perilous hole in its Internet Explorer browser that hackers could slip through to invade computers.

The flaw was deemed so dangerous that the US software colossus planned to take the unusual step of releasing a fix for its aged Windows XP operating system, which it officially stopped supporting last month.

Microsoft began "pushing" patches as automated updates to a "critical" flaw at 1700 GMT.

People whose machines are not set to automatically update Microsoft software need to tend to the process.

"When we saw the first reports about this vulnerability we decided to fix it, fix it fast, and fix it for all our customers," Microsoft general manager of trustworthy computing Adrienne Hall said in a blog post.

"The security of our products is something we take incredibly seriously."

A US government cybersecurity watchdog warned computer users Monday against using a version of the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser with a security hole.

The government's Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) said in a statement it was aware of "active exploitation" of the security flaw in versions six through 11 of the flagship Explorer browser.

The agency, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, urged computer users to take protective actions and "consider employing an alternative Web browser until an official update is available."

Microsoft said Saturday that an attacker who successfully exploits the vulnerability could take control of the computer.

On Thursday, it noted in a bulletin at its online security center that it was "aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability in Internet Explorer."

The security flaw is of particular concern for computers running Windows XP, an older version of the operating system for which Microsoft had stopped issuing security updates.

Explore further: Microsoft sends security patches, urges fix-it for XML Core Services vulnerability

More information: Blog posts: bit.ly/1kxFIrG , bit.ly/1pT0ck5

Related Stories

Adobe Flash Player updates confront zero-day exploit

February 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —An Adobe Flash exploit has targeted three sites. Adobe Systems on Thursday announced knowledge of the exploit and what steps to take. The company assigned the CVE identifier CVE-2014-0502 to the vulnerability. ...

Microsoft issues advisory on Internet Explorer vulnerability

April 28, 2014

(Phys.org) —Microsoft issued a security advisory on Saturday regarding an issue that impacts the Internet Explorer Web browser. Microsoft said it was aware of limited, targeted attacks seeking to exploit the vulnerability ...

US warns on use of flawed Microsoft browser

April 28, 2014

A US government cybersecurity watchdog warned computer users Monday against using a version of the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser with a security hole that could allow hackers in.

Recommended for you

Software turns smartphones into tools for medical research

July 27, 2015

Jody Kearns doesn't like to spend time obsessing about her Parkinson's disease. The 56-year-old dietitian from Syracuse, New York, had to give up bicycling because the disorder affected her balance. But she still works, drives ...

Where is solar power headed?

July 22, 2015

Most experts agree that to have a shot at curbing the worst impacts of climate change, we need to extricate our society from fossil fuels and ramp up our use of renewable energy.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.