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News

Webroot comment on IE vulnerability

Webroot Software : 18 December, 2008  (Technical Article)
Highly publicised virus injection flaw on Internet Explorer results from complex evolution of browser functionality according to Webroot
Gerhard Eschelbeck, Chief Technology Officer, Webroot Software responds to a major security lapse has been discovered in Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
Millions of internet users are at risk from a flaw which can allow criminals to access their personal details. The major security lapse has been discovered in Microsoft's Internet Explorer — used on 70 per cent of computers. The flaw in the web browser allows criminals to "inject" viruses into millions of PCs. They can then access these machines remotely, mining them for details. Experts have warned users of Internet Explorer to switch to another browser until it is fixed. Chinese hackers are at the centre of the attacks — used to steal computer game passwords. Up to two million computers have reportedly been hit. It is feared the hackers could now target more personal information, such as bank details. Elia Florio, of internet security firm Symantec, said: "If your machine is unprotected it is like an open door to a burglar."

Mr Eschelbeck said, "While first generation attacks were geared towards operating system vulnerabilities, we see more than 90% of modern malware targeting the browser directly. The browser is no longer a simple interface to display text, but has evolved into a complex system for processing rich content including rich text, audio, video, and structured data. Such increased complexity is a significant challenge for security, providing broad access for attackers. To solve this large scale security issue, we need to moved towards a segregated and modularised browser architecture. In the meantime, proactive protection from web born threats and timely patching are the most sensible remedies."
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