Errors in widely used programs can be very serious and affect many users, but the fact that the error is related to a security issue can be very detrimental. We know that the evolution of malware may one day mean that the antivirus and security platforms we have enabled are not enough to protect us, but what really bothers us is that we are in danger by a security flaw in a program like Internet Explorer, which leaves the door open to hackers.
Microsoft offers a solution, but effective?
The Redmond company offers a solution, download and install free security software that will help you deal with possible attacks, this is Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, better known as EMET, and which is available on its website. However, they also suggest some preventative settings in Windows that could help prevent malware from entering the PC by taking advantage of the security loophole. But they also indicated that these settings could interfere with Windows operation, slowing it down and making it less useful, which no one wants.
But there are other reasons why dealing with this problem is not so easy. Apparently, EMET is not compatible with certain programs installed on certain networks, a problem that can have fatal consequences, especially in companies that work with huge network systems where it is not so easy to do without of one of their programs. For all these reasons, experts have advised that the best thing users can do, or at least the easiest, is to use other browsers. Dave Marcus, director of the security division of one of the world’s largest developers, McAfee, summed it up in a nutshell, “to consumers, it’s easier to click on Chrome“.
A Zero Day Attack
This type of vulnerability is particularly noteworthy because it is directly related to zero-day attacks, one of the most dangerous weapons used by computer scientists dedicated to malware. When a vulnerability is found for which there is no security patch yet, we are pretty much lost. The development company needs to pull together to release the security patch as soon as possible, but in the meantime, the amount of malware we can encounter is incredibly high.
It is not dangerous that someone can access our computer and infect it with one of those jokes in which a window appears that we cannot close. The problem is that people who really want to hurt us are starting to take advantage of this vulnerability, theft of bank details, access codes, network activity, etc. Zero-day attacks are so dangerous because we have no defenses right now. Microsoft said it would take a week to release the security patch, and in the meantime we will be surfing the net insecurely.
The vulnerabilities ofday zeroas it’s called in English, is really hard to identify, and requires a lot of IT people working hard on it. According to Symantec, in 2011 security experts were only able to locate eight of these vulnerabilities, so it’s not very widespread.
An oversized browser
If the problem had occurred in a less used browser or program, there wouldn’t be so much to worry about. But we are talking about the one that not so long ago was the most used browser in the world. Internet Explorer was the second most used browser last month, just behind Chrome, and with a 33% share, according to StatCounter. In other words, one-third of users worldwide are at risk of a computer attack via this vulnerability.
Undoubtedly, this is a serious issue that Microsoft needs to hurry to resolve and could greatly affect their reputation and the market share they currently hold.