On Monday, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) asked Windows users to install a free security software on their computers. There was a freshly discovered bug on Internet Explorer Browsers. This security flaw makes it easy to for hackers to remotely control of the infected computer. It affects Internet Explorer versions 7, 8, and 9 on XP, Vista, and 7 operating systems.
Since the security flaw affects many businesses, agencies, and individuals, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is taking the necessary measures to remind people about the bug and how to prevent their sensitive information from being exposed.
The free security software is called Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) and it’s available on Microsoft’s website.
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The flaw was discovered by Luxembourg researcher Eric Romang late last week. His computer was infected with malware called Poison Ivy, a virus that’s known for enabling hackers to steal data and control computers via a remote location. Poison Ivy was first discovered in 2009 when it was reported in a connection with emails that were sent to US state department officials.
After analyzing the infection, Romang discovered that Poison Ivy got into his computer’s system by exploiting a bug that was previously unknown, which is sometimes referred to “zero-day” vulnerability on IE.
Symantec’s research manager Liam O Murchu said, “Any time you see a zero-day like this, it is concerning. There are no patches available. It is very difficult for people to protect themselves.”
It’s important to note that “zero-day” vulnerabilities are rare but that’s mostly because they’re hard to spot. Symantec reported eight major zero day vulnerabilities in 2011.
Viruses and other forms of malware are always bad but unfortunately, they’re a regular occurrance for Windows users. While it’s a good thing that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shared the news and created a patch for the problem, maybe it’s time for the company to come up with a better and safer browser.