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Old Microsoft Internet Explorer Web Browsers Hit By Dormant Vulnerability

Certain versions of the hugely popular Internet Explorer browser have been reported to be under a new threat by a previously undiscovered flaw.

The users of IE6 and IE7 have been told to keep their anti-virus updated and block websites which they don’t trust.

The attack code, which could be used for breaking into a PC using the old Internet Explorers, was posted by an unidentified hacker to the Bugtraq mailing list. However IE8 users have been reported to be in the clear from the present threat.

Security experts have told IE users to disable the JavaScript of the browser because for the code to work, a hacker would have to lure the victim to a website with maliciously encoded JavaScript that could plant a virus on the computer as the alleged flaw lies in Microsoft's Internet Explorer ability to retrieve Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) objects, used to create a standardised layout on Web pages.

Anti-virus company Symantec has posted on its website that the company has conducted tests that prove the vulnerability of the IE6 and IE7 adding that the attack code does not always work properly but a new and improved code is expected in the near future. However the users can save themselves from the possible threat by just upgrading to IE8 or switching to an alternate browser.

Our Comments

Another reason to leave Internet Explorer hey? Actually the newest Internet Explorer is significantly better than the old ones. It took Chrome, Opera, Safari and Firefox to make Microsoft react and build a competitive browser. A significant amount of users are still glued to IE6 and IE7 which is not only an issue for webmasters but also security firms.

Related Links

New exploit targets Internet Explorer zero-day flaw

( IT PRO)

Exploit hits old versions of Internet Explorer

(Tech Watch)

IE 6 and 7 hit by hack attack code

( IT PRO)

Symantec confirms Internet Explorer exploit

(TG Daily)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.