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News

IE Patch Hailed As Good newstest For Internet Users

Trusteer : 31 March, 2010  (Technical Article)
Zero-day vulnerability fix in Internet Explorer delivered as out-of-band patch from Microsoft seen as positive for all internet users by Trusteer
Microsoft's decision to issue an emergency security update is good news for Internet users, says Trusteer, as it will fix the widely reported zero-day vulnerability for Internet Explorer (Microsoft Security Advisory 981374), as well as nine other vulnerabilities.

'Vulnerability 981374, which affects Internet Explorer 6 and 7 - IE 8 and Windows 7 users are not affected - was publicised by Microsoft during March's patch Tuesday,' said Mickey Boodaei, CEO of the browser security and fraud prevention specialist.

"According to our statistics 25% of Windows users are still using Internet Explorer 6 or 7. For these users our advice is to patch/update your computer immediately. And even if you are using Internet Explorer 8, we recommend that users should update as soon as possible,' he added.

According to Boodaei, this is because the patch also includes critical security fixes for IE 8 and Trusteer considers it likely that the hackers behind the zero-day attack will start to reverse engineer the update from Microsoft and develop an IE 8 attack methodology. According to our statistics more than 50% of Windows users use IE8.

And, the Trusteer CEO went on to explain, whilst today's out-of-band update will be seen as unusual by many PC users, it is actually starting to become more common for Microsoft to release these types of updates, as the software giant monitors its security issues constantly and, if a problem starts to develop, its software development team will react and patch accordingly.

The important lesson that Internet users can learn from the increasingly common out-of-band patches being issued by Microsoft is that it shows hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated as they develop new security attacks using innovative methodologies.

'Users of online financial services, such as electronic banking facilities, need to take extra care, and ensure their systems are as up to date as possible, preferably by running the Windows update service before they access their e-banking portal,' he said.

'They should also consult their e-banking Web site to see if the bank recommends they download and install browser security add-ins like our Rapport software, which is available free of charge to users of HSBC, RBS/Natwest and the Santander banking group's e-banking facilities,' he added.
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