Microsoft recently published documentation on a security flaw in versions of Internet Explorer 6 through 11 that could be harmful to users of those browsers. Basically, anyone using those versions of Internet Explorer could potentially fall victim to an attack on a website, giving the attacker complete control over an end user’s computer. Now, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US CERT) is warning against the problem, too.
If you’re on a computer running Windows 7 or newer, chances are Microsoft will soon release a patch that fixes the issues with Internet Explorer. However, since Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows XP, anyone on those computers will be permanently susceptible to an attack. “US-CERT recommends that users and administrators review Microsoft Security Advisory 2963983 for mitigation actions and workarounds,” the government group said on its blog Monday. “Those who cannot follow Microsoft’s recommendations, such as Windows XP users, may consider employing an alternate browser.” US CERT said it’s unaware of a practical solution right now.
If you didn’t think a warning from Microsoft was serious enough, hopefully you’ll listen to CERT. Final warning: if you’re on Windows XP and using Internet Explorer, switch browsers now.