by Brent Eades
Government agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom have advised web users to stop using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser, versions 6 to 11, after a major security breach was revealed this weekend. The breach especially affects users of the 13-year-old Windows XP operating system. From the CBC:
The U.S. and UK governments on Monday advised computer users to consider using alternatives to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers used to launch attacks.
The Internet Explorer bug, disclosed over the weekend, is the first high-profile computer threat to emerge since Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP earlier this month. That means PCs running the 13-year-old operating system will remain unprotected, even after Microsoft releases updates to defend against it.
The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in an advisory released on Monday that the vulnerability in versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer could lead to “the complete compromise” of an affected system.
You might consider installing either the Firefox or Chrome web browser instead, neither of which is vulnerable to this attack. Both are free, and should take little time to download and install on a high-speed connection.