Microsoft Hurries to Fix Major ‘Internet Explorer’ Bug; Impacts Millions; No Fix For Windows XP Users

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | April 28, 2014 1:18 PM EST

A freshly discovered security bug in Microsoft's Web browser 'Internet Explorer' has surfaced.

There has no patch available yet to fix the problem at present. Besides, this bug affects all versions of the browser. But this flaw lays a concern for users who are still running Windows XP on their systems.

REUTERS
The Microsoft logo hangs from a window during the grand opening of Microsoft's first retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona October 22, 2009.

Microsoft has recently warned users by issuing a security advisory of a potential vulnerability in its Internet Explorer Web browser.  

Which Versions of IE Are Affected?

According to Microsoft, this bug affects Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11. Designated as a coding flaw, it could let hackers to get the same level of system access on a network computer as the authorized user.

Microsoft Statement in its official Web site

"The vulnerability exists in the way that Internet Explorer accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated. 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. An attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the Web site."

Apparently, this particular vulnerability was discovered by FireEye security firm issuing a statement on their Web site, which reads, "Hackers are actively using this exploit in an ongoing campaign which we have named "Operation Clandestine Fox." And the company believes that this is a significant zero day vulnerability.

What Can Windows XP Users do?

Symantec was the first to point out the Windows XP situation. The company said, "XP users are not safe anymore and this is the first vulnerability that will not be patched for their system." Microsoft officially ended support for Windows XP on April 8, which translates to no more security patches for the millions of users still sticking to Windows XP operating system.

Notably, the Web browser Internet Explorer accounts for more than 58 percent of the world's desktop / laptop browsers. The one and only solution for Windows XP users is to use another browser like Chrome, Firefox etc. Shortly, Microsoft will be issuing a security update through its monthly release process after investigating the vulnerability further. 

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(Photo: REUTERS / Joshua Lott)
The Microsoft logo hangs from a window during the grand opening of Microsoft's first retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona October 22, 2009.
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