Be aware when using Internet Explorer at the moment
Microsoft has released a warning to advise of an Internet Explorer exploit that affects all current versions of the browser (6-11).
The Internet Explorer exploit that has been discovered "allows remote code execution if users visit a malicious website with an affected browser. This would typically occur by an attacker convincing someone to click a link in an email or instant message".
Microsoft added " ... we encourage everyone to exercise caution when visiting websites and avoid clicking suspicious links, or opening email messages from unfamiliar senders."
The most direct method of attack comes from malicious web-links within email messages, which, when clicked, direct your browser to an affected site that targets the exploit. The best method of ensuring you are not subject to one of these attacks is simple, do not click a link within an email unless you are sure of both the sender and the authenticity of the link.
There are a couple of steps you can take to try and identity a suspicious link:
- If you receive a link like Click Here then generally treat this as suspicious. Most people will instead say something like 'Click the link below' and then supply a full web-link.
- Hover the mouse over the web-link within Outlook / your email client. You will see a pop-up that shows where the link actually points to. If the link text in the email and the one displayed in the popup are different then be cautious.
Microsoft are working on the issue and hope to have a patch available soon to fix the exploit, however, there is no current ETA on when this will be available. The patch will most likely be made available as a Windows Update so should install automatically on most machines, unless Windows Update has been disabled for some reason.
NOTE: If you are using Windows XP then you may be out of luck.
Microsoft deprecated all forms of consumer support for XP on the 8th April 2014 which means there will be no further security patches for that Operating System.
Whether or not Microsoft will make an exception this time, due to the fact that the issue is within Internet Explorer, is unknown, however, you should now all be looking to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 or 8 anyway to ensure you are running a secure and stable environment.
Contact Us now for help with upgrading your business from Windows XP.