Internet Explorer hit by serious vulnerability – MS issues security patch – Windows XP Included


Microsoft has reported that a security flaw in its Internet Explorer browser could allow hackers to access your personal information especially if you are still using Windows XP.

The bug has been found to affect IE versions 6 through 11 and was found by Microsoft’s security company FireEye. The company says that the flaw leaves around 56 percent of the browser market vulnerable to attack. The bug has been classified as a “Zero Day” flaw which gives victims zero warnings before attack.

The flaw is a remote code execution vulnerability which means that a hacker can successfully run software on a victim’s computer after attack. Microsoft issued a security alert which said that “the vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer. The phrase “arbitrary code” means pretty much any software that the attacker chooses to run.”

In short, a hacker could install programs, view and delete data simply by visiting a website that you are running at the same time on your IE.

FireEye has said that a gang of attackers has already launched a campaign exploiting the flaw. Microsoft reported that IE9 through IE11 versions are the worst-hit as the three versions of IE account for almost 26 percent of the web browsers currently in use around the world. The software giant has said that Internet Explorer 10 and 11 are safe from the flaw only if the Enhanced Protected Mode in these browsers is turned on. The company is currently working on fixing the problem and might soon come out with an update.

UPDATE : Microsoft is issuing a fix for the “zero-day” vulnerability found in Internet Explorer last week. The update should be rolling out to all users any time now. In addition to updating Internet Explorer, Microsoft is also providing a fix for Windows XP, despite the fact that the operating system is no longer officially supported. The fix was issued because support for XP ended recently.

Source : Microsoft.

Tips to Maintain a Virus Free Computer


Follow these Tips to Maintain a Virus Free Computer……

1. Email is one of the common ways by which your computer can catch a virus. So it is always recommended to stay away from SPAM. Open only those emails that has it’s origin from a trusted source such as those which comes from your contact list. If you are using your own private email host (other than gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc.) then it is highly recommended that you use a good anti-spam software. And finally NEVER click on any links in the emails that comes from untrusted sources.

2. USB thumb/pen drives is another common way by which viruses spread rapidly. So it is always a good habit to perform a virus scan before copying any data onto your computer. NEVER double-click the pen drive to open it. Instead right-click on it and select the option “open”. This is a safe way to open a pen drive.

3. Be careful about using MS Outlook. Outlook is more susceptible to worms than other e-mail programs, unless you have efficient Anti-Virus programs running. Use Pegasus or Thunderbird (by Mozilla), or a web-based program such as Hotmail or Yahoo (In Firefox).

4. As we all know, Internet is the main source of all the malicious programs including viruses, worms, trojans etc. In fact Internet contributes to virus infection by up to 80%. So here are the tips for safe surfing habits so that you can ward off virus infection up to the maximum extent.

• Don’t click on pop-up windows that announce a sudden disaster in your city or announce that you’ve won an hourly prize. They are the ways to mislead Internet users and you should never trust them.

• You can also use a pop-up blocker to automatically block those pop-ups.

5. Most of us use search engines like Google to find what we are looking for. It is quite obvious for a malicious website to get listed in the search results. So to avoid visiting those untrusted malicious websites, you can download and install the AVG LinkScanner which is a freeware. This tool can become very handy and will help you to stay away from malicious websites.

6. Install a good antivirus software and keep it updated. Also perform full system scan periodically. It is highly recommended that you turn on the automatic update feature. This is the most essential task to protect your PC from virues. If PC security is your first option then it is recommended that you go for a shareware antivirus software over the free ones. Most of the antivirus supports the Auto-Protect feature that provides realtime security for your PC. Make sure that this feature is turned on.

7. Install a good Antispyware program, that operates against Internet malware and spyware.

8. Never open any email attachments that come from untrusted sources. If it is a picture, text or sound file (these attachments end in the extensions .txt, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, .tif, .mp3, .htm, .html, and .avi), you are probably safe, but still do a scan before opening.

9. Do not use disks that other people gave you, even from work. The disk could be infected with a virus. Of course, you can run a virus scan on it first to check it out.

10. Set up your Windows Update to automatically download patches and upgrades. This will allow your computer to automatically download any updates to both the operating system and Internet Explorer. These updates fix security holes in both pieces of software.

11. While you download files from untrusted websites/sources such as torrents, warez etc. make sure that you run a virus scan before executing them.

12. And finally it is recommended not to visit the websites that feature illegal/unwanted stuffs such as cracks, serials, warez etc. since they contribute much in spreading of viruses and other malicious programs.

Thanks Kyrion.

Life Before Computers…


An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
And a keyboard was on a piano!
Memory was something that you lost with age
A hard drive was a trip on the road
Cutting, you did with a pocket knife,
Pasting, you did with glue.
The Web was where a spider lived
And a virus was the flu!