Microsoft has warned Internet Explorer users to update their machines to avoid being targeted by hackers. Here’s how to protect your computer
Microsoft has issued an emergency fix for a “critical” vulnerability that could allow hackers to take control of your computer after visiting an infected webpage.
The vulnerability, which affects all current versions of Internet Explorer, has the potential to enable an attacker to gain administrative user privileges and trick victims into visiting further malicious websites.
While the hackers could not force the victim into visiting further attacker-controlled web content, they could attempt to convince users to click on links in emails or instant messages, Microsoft warned. The administrative privileges granted by the vulnerability would then allow attackers to explot this.
“The attacker could also take advantage of compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements by adding specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability,” Microsoft added.
The update addresses how Internet Explorer handles objects in memory, preventing any further interference.
Around 17.64 per cent of the world currently uses Internet Explorer, and around 23.35 per cent of the UK, according to StatCounter.
The US Department of Homeland Security advised US citizens not to use Internet Explorer following a security flaw which also had the potential for hackers to gain access to computers.
How to make sure you’re protected
- The update is available through Windows Update, and will have been installed automatically if you have auto updates enabled.
- Alternatively, you can download it through the Microsoft Download Centre. Microsoft advises that subsequent update 3078071 must be installed before 3087985.