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U.S. Advises Avoiding Internet Explorer Until Bug Fixed

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 10:47 AM
From Reuters:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advised computer users to consider using alternatives to Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers have used to launch attacks. The bug is the first high-profile security flaw to emerge since Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP earlier this month.

That means PCs running the 13-year old operating system could remain unprotected against hackers seeking to exploit the newly uncovered flaw, even after Microsoft figures out how to defend against it.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a part of Homeland Security known as US-CERT, said in an advisory released on Monday morning that the vulnerability in versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer could lead to "the complete compromise" of an affected system.

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7
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,430 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,246
1. Monday, April 28, 2014 - 1:44 PM
I am confused about what is going on.  If we have Internet Explorer as a second system to use but don't actually open it and use it for anything, can the hackers still get into the IE systems we have?  Should I delete any and all saved info I have on Internet Explorer to protect the information from hackers getting access to it?  I have no idea what version IE I have since the upgrades usually come on the Firebox program.  This is such an aggravation!
3
paoli2paoli21,364 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,981
2. Monday, April 28, 2014 - 4:16 PM
Because this attack relies on a few of Internet Explorer's extra features, there's a relatively easy fix: Just disable them. FireEye advises disabling the Adobe (ADBE) Flash plugin. While Microsoft works on patching the bug, its engineers suggest running your browser in "Enhanced Protect Mode." But computer experts say that will likely ruin your online experience.  This attack doesn't affect other Web browsers like Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) Chrome, Mozilla FireFox or Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) Safari.  This type of attack is particularly nasty, because it affects every version of the Web browser from IE6 through IE11. That's more than half of the browsers in use right now, according to Web analytics site NetMarketShare.

Internet Explorer bug lets hacker control your PC - Apr. 28, 2014

I use FireFox on a daily basis but have IE11 as my alternate browser and have implemented the following on IE:

1.  Disabled the Adobe (ADBE) Flash plugin.
2.  Running browser in "Enhanced Protect Mode."
3.  Set all security tabs to highest settings.
8
ShorebreakShorebreak2,599 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,070
3. Monday, April 28, 2014 - 6:42 PM
Can anyone please advise me how I can find the "Enhanced Protect Mode" on Internet Explorer so I can set it to this?  I tried checking under Tools but cannot find this Protect Mode.  Is this the same place I use to set security tabs to highest settings?  Thanks and much appreciation for any help and advice. 
3
paoli2paoli21,364 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,981
4. Monday, April 28, 2014 - 8:43 PM
Re: 3. Monday, April 28, 2014 - 6:42 PM

Tools
     Internet Options
           Security
               - Internet
               - Local Intranet
               - Trusted Sites
               - Restricted Sites
Each of the above has a box labeled "Enable Protected Mode". Click on each box with a check mark and click on apply for each tab. Then click OK when exiting.
7
ShorebreakShorebreak2,599 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,070
5. Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 6:45 AM
SB:  Much thanks and appreciation for the help.  Followed your instructions and restarted computer.  Very easy to do when one knows what to do. 
3
paoli2paoli21,364 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,981
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