HOMELAND SECURITY: Don't use Internet Explorer - Fox 2 News Headlines

HOMELAND SECURITY: Don't use Internet Explorer

Posted: Updated:

A branch of the US Department of Homeland Security is telling Americans to stop using Internet Explorer due to a vulnerability that allows hackers to remotely execute codes on victim's computers as they surf the web.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) warns that all versions of Internet Explorer -- from 6 to 10 -- can be affected, although those responsible appear to be currently targeting IE9 and IE10, according to FireEye Research Labs, the California-based Internet security software company that first exposed the vulnerability.

Computer security experts warn that no fix has been found, and they urge people to avoid using Internet Explorer until the security is sound.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Over the weekend, Microsoft acknowledged "limited, targeted attacks" that exploited a vulnerability in the browser in order to remotely run code through a user's browser, forcing the user to view a website crafted by the attacker instead.

FROM MICROSOFT: Vulnerability in Internet Explorer could allow remote code execution

Rather than targeting a specific victim one by one, the hackers inject code into a website a victim may visit. That code then infects the victim's computer.

According to FireEye, the exploit takes advantage of a previously unknown "use-after-free" vulnerability and a well-known Adobe Flash exploitation technique to circumvent Windows security protections.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

No practical solution has been identified yet, but the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit can help prevent the vulnerability from being exploited; however, older versions of Windows -- including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 -- won't be protected in the same way more modern versions will.

Although the bug does not compromise the security of Adobe Flash, FireEye said the attack cannot work without it and said users can disable the Flash plug-in within IE to protect themselves; however, that will render many popular websites unusable.

Symantec is also offering XP users tools to help ward off attack.

  • Spotlight StoriesMore>>

  • Man Receives State's First Lung Transplant

    Man Receives State's First Lung Transplant

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:27 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:27:38 GMT
    An Indiana Hospital becomes the first in the state to ever perform a breathing lung transplant.Thanks to modern technology more than a decade in the making doctors are able to transport lungs while they're still warm.
    An Indiana Hospital becomes the first in the state to ever perform a breathing lung transplant.Thanks to modern technology more than a decade in the making doctors are able to transport lungs while they're still warm.
  • Mich. teen gets heart transplant for her 15th birthday

    Mich. teen gets heart transplant for her 15th birthday

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:18:13 GMT
    A St. Clair County cheerleader was feeling fine when she got a routine EKG to check her heart rhythm. The results of that simple scan are so shocking - her life immediately changed forever.
    A St. Clair County cheerleader was feeling fine when she got a routine EKG to check her heart rhythm. The results of that simple scan are so shocking - her life immediately changed forever.
  • Pay It Forward: Musical Cop

    Pay It Forward: Musical Cop

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:18:09 GMT
    This person has two very different identities. That is one part of this story. The other part, though, has everything to do with realizing your own dream so that others can too.
    This person has two very different identities. That is one part of this story. The other part, though, has everything to do with realizing your own dream so that others can too.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices