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September 18, 2012

Microsoft hit with zero-day exploit of Internet Explorer, urges security tool download

Posted by David Hunter at 3:35 PM ET.

Microsoft urges customers to install security tool

Microsoft Corp urged Windows users on Monday to install a free piece of security software to protect PCs from a newly discovered bug in the Internet Explorer browser.

The security flaw, which researchers say could allow hackers to take remote control of an infected PC, affects Internet Explorer browsers used by hundreds of millions of consumers and workers. Microsoft said it will advise customers on its website to install the security software as an interim measure, buying it time to fix the bug and release a new, more secure version of Internet Explorer.

The free security tool, which is known as the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, or EMET, is available on Microsoft’s website: http://bit.ly/Kv497S

Eric Romang, a researcher in Luxembourg, discovered the flaw in Internet Explorer on Friday, when his PC was infected by a piece of malicious software known as Poison Ivy that hackers use to steal data or take remote control of PCs.

When he analyzed the infection, he learned that Poison Ivy had gotten on to his system by exploiting a previously unknown bug, or "zero-day" vulnerability, in Internet Explorer.

Full security advisory is here and only IE 7, 8, and 9 on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are known to be at risk. Internet Explorer 10 is apparently not a problem.

Frankly, EMET isn’t a magic shield and it’s a tool that only geeks can love. The bottom line from the above article:

Dave Marcus, director of advanced research and threat intelligence with Intel Corp’s McAfee security division, said it might be a daunting task for home users to locate, download and install the EMET tool.

"For consumers it might be easier to simply click on Chrome," Marcus said.

Business users will have their own problems with it too.



Filed under IE10, IE7, IE8, IE9, Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Security, Zero-Day Exploits

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