Microsoft patching perilous hole in IE Web browser

May 01, 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: Detecting and blocking leaky Android apps

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

Related Stories

US warns on use of flawed Microsoft browser

Apr 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. ...

Adobe Flash Player updates confront zero-day exploit

Feb 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 ...

Recommended for you

NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program

6 hours ago

The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration ...

Uber drivers fined in Hungary

7 hours ago

The Hungarian tax authority fined Uber drivers in its first probe against the ride-sharing service which the economy ministry said Saturday "ignores passenger safety" and must be made to follow regulations.

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

May 23, 2015

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

May 23, 2015

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

User comments : 0

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.