Staying Safe – Internet Explorer Bug

Governments warning people not to use Internet Explorer

The Internet Explorer icon is one of the most recognizable logos on the planet. Despite competition from Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox, Microsoft still has the market cornered with up to 55% of computer users estimated to be using IE.

With these kinds of numbers, it still makes sense for hackers to heavily target Internet Explorer and it has happened again over the weekend.  Research firm FireEye reported the most recent threat to Microsoft and they immediately issued a statement aimed to help people minimize their risk as they work on developing a patch.

Governments in the US, UK and Sweden have all issued warnings against using IE at all because the potential damage from this hack is enormous. It affects IE versions 6 to 11, with 9, 10 and 11 being most heavily targeted. When you log into an infected website using Internet Explorer, attackers utilize a corrupted Adobe Flash file to gain administrative rights to a victim’s computer. This allows the hacker complete control over the computer and all the information on it. The types of files used can be targeted directly at businesses using webinars or streaming video for meetings.

The news is even worse for the holdouts still using Windows XP. Microsoft has stated that they will not bend the rules to extend the patch to the thirteen year old program as they discontinued support on April 8, 2014.

Now that we have all the bad news out of the way, what is the best way to keep your computer safe? Both Chrome and Firefox are safe, fast internet browsers that are simply not targeted as heavily by hackers. Until Microsoft announces the issue is fixed you are recommended to choose one of these for your browsing tool. If you haven’t gotten around to upgrading your Windows XP yet, you will need to figure out which alternative will work best for you as you plan your transition to a more modern operating system.

Call Evident IT to help you make the switch today and keep your business safe.