Microsoft has released an emergency update for Internet Explorer following the discovery of a serious security vulnerability that could allow a third party to execute arbitrary code on a victim's computer through a specially crafted website.
If the user is logged into an account with admin rights, the attacker could even take control of the system remotely.
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The vulnerability applies to versions of Internet Explorer from 9 to 11. Anyone affected should download and install the appropriate security update from a list published by Microsoft.
Usually Microsoft fixes bugs in its monthly software update, but this vulnerability is so serious, the company has released an emergency patch to resolve it.
Still using IE?
Internet Explorer is still available for anyone who wants to use older websites that depend on legacy Microsoft technologies like ActiveX. Microsoft plans to support the aging browser with security updates throughout the life of Windows 10, but it won't receive any new functions.
If you still use Internet Explorer (or know someone who does), it's worth considering upgrading to a modern browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox that will receive frequent feature updates.
Microsoft itself has urged businesses to drop Internet Explorer now that web developers are unlikely to be testing their products using it, which could lead to security and stability issues.
"You see, Internet Explorer is a compatibility solution," Microsoft senior cybersecurity architect Chris Jackson wrote in a blog post in March.
"We’re not supporting new web standards for it and, while many sites work fine, developers by and large just aren’t testing for Internet Explorer these days. They’re testing on modern browsers.
"So, if we continued our previous approach, you would end up in a scenario where, by optimizing for the things you have, you end up not being able to use new apps as they come out. As new apps are coming out with greater frequency, what we want to help you do is avoid having to miss out on a progressively larger portion of the web!”
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