SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 20, 2012

Your ‘browser’ Okay?

Microsoft browser vulnerable to hackers

Experts warn users of Internet Explorer bug

By Jim Finkle REUTERS

BOSTON — Computer-security experts are urging PC users to temporarily stop browsing the Web with Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer, saying a newly identified bug in the software makes computers susceptible to attack by hackers.

“Bad guys can use this vulnerability to do bad things to your computer. They can access all the files you have access to on your computer,” said Tod Beardsley, an engineering manager with the security firm Rapid7.

In response to a request for comment, Microsoft said in a statement, “We are actively investigating these reports and will take the necessary steps to help protect customers.”

In the meantime, security experts said that computer users should avoid Internet Explorer.

“There are other browsers that people can use temporarily until the problem gets fixed. Or they can gamble,” said Paul Ferguson, senior threat researcher with Japanese anti-virus software maker Trend Micro Inc.

Eric Romang, a security adviser with e-Business & Resilience Centre, a firm in Luxembourg, discovered the bug on Friday while investigating servers that he suspected were being used by hackers, according to his blog.

Those hackers had figured out a way to infect computers by exploiting the previously unknown vulnerability in Internet Explorer, Beardsley said.     The hackers could put malicious code onto healthy websites and infect the machines of surfers who visited those sites, Beardsley said.

Internet Explorer was the world’s second-most widely used browser last month, with about 33 percent market share, according to Stat-Counter.   It was close behind Google Inc.’s Chrome browser, which had 34 percent of the market.

(Personally,   I have been using Mozilla Firefox for quite a few years and very satisfied with it.   Am using “Chrome”  for a few weeks now and delighted with the  improved speed I’ve gained.   Just sayin’            Jan)

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