Microsoft has announced that hackers are exploiting an unpatched and critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE). This vulnerability is in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, and Internet Explorer 11.
The attacks have been launched against IE users tricked into visiting malicious websites. These attacks are also known as drive-bys and are among the most dangerous because a vulnerable browser can be hacked as soon as its user surfs to the URL.
All versions of Internet Explorer are at risk including Internet Explorer 6 which still receives patches on Windows Server 2003. The same browser will not be repaired on Windows XP, as the operating system was retired April 8.
How can you protect yourself and Windows XP?
- Windows XP users can make it more difficult for attackers to exploit Internet Explorer by installing the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) 4.1 from Microsoft’s website.
- Users can also unregistered a vgx.dll file. The .dll is one of the modules that renders VML (vector markup language) within Windows and Internet Explorer.
- You can avoid Internet Explorer attacks by switching to another browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Of course the safest step to protect yourself and your information is to completely retire the Windows XP system.
This is only the beginning of security threats against Windows XP operating system.
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