Microsoft Confirms Huge Internet Explorer Security Exploit
Mike Sanders / 2 months ago
So, I’m going to start by stating the obvious as its something you probably already said to yourself as you read the title. Who is still using Internet Explorer, right? – Well, despite there being a number of much better alternatives around these days (such as Google Chrome, Firefox or (dare I say) Edge, recent market share figures confirm that just under 9% of people are still using Internet Explorer for their web browsing. Figures that are amusingly (but likely frustratingly for Microsoft) 3% higher than Edge.
Following an official security post from Microsoft, however, they have confirmed that a huge exploit has been found within Internet Explorer. One that could potentially allow someone to highjack your system.
Put simply, if you are using that web browser, it might be time to finally make the change!
Microsoft Issues Internet Explorer Security Warning
In announcing the security warning, Microsoft has said:
A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that the scripting engine handles objects in memory in Internet Explorer. The vulnerability could corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could take control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit the vulnerability through Internet Explorer. And then convince a user to view the website, for example, by sending an email.
The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying how the scripting engine handles objects in memory
“I’ll Just Wait For The Patch”
We understand why a large number of people are still using Internet Explorer. We suspect that in the vast number of instances, however, it’s simply because of the number (and type) of people that are still using older operating systems. I mean, if you still have an XP laptop with Internet Explorer and it’s still working, why bother changing, right? – Well, those people are probably not aware of some important facts. Mainly that Microsoft ended official support for the browser nearly 3 years ago. Put simply, it really is time to move on!
As per the post, a security fix is set to be issued (based on the severity of it). You can, however, pretty much expect them to wash their hands of it after. Their due diligence is done and Internet Explorer is, quite frankly, dead!
The most worrying part, however, is that Microsoft has confirmed that this exploit has been used. So, if you are still using Internet Explorer, or perhaps your (grand)parents, it’s really time you got them to move onto something more modern. Perhaps more importantly, a web browser that is still officially supported.
What do you think? Which web browser do you use? Do you know anyone who does still use Internet Explorer? – Let us know in the comments!