Microsoft Issues Warning About Unpatched IE Flaw
Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday warned users that virus writers have started exploiting a newly-discovered flaw in Internet Explorer for which the company has not issued a security patch. The company said users browsing the Web with IE could infect their computers with a Trojan horse if they visit certain Web sites that are known to be exploiting the flaw, though it didn't specify what those sites are.
This particular threat does not appear to be very serious, and indeed earned a "low" threat rating from Redmond. Still, it is possible this was something of a test run by hackers, and we may see more dangerous threats exploiting this flaw in the days and weeks ahead.
The SANS Internet Storm Center speculates about whether the emergence of this Trojan will prompt Microsoft to issue a patch outside of its monthly patch release cycle, the next installment of which isn't due until Dec. 13.
The warning about the IE flaw, coincidentally, came on the very day Microsoft began promoting its Microsoft Windows Live Safety Center, which includes the company's beta version of anti-virus software that scans computers directly from Microsoft's site. It is worth noting that the Microsoft Web posting examining the IE threat resembles malware alert and description pages regularly published by the major anti-virus companies.
It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft's entry into the virus-naming business will bring about more or less uniformity and saneness in identifying viruses and worms by a common name.
December 1, 2005; 8:26 AM ET
Categories: Latest Warnings
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