Microsoft rushes to fix browser after attacks; no fix for XP users

April 29, 2014

BOSTON – Microsoft Corp is dashing to repair a bug in its extensively used Internet Explorer net browser after a pc safety agency disclosed the flaw over the weekend, saying hackers have already exploited it in assaults on some US corporations.

PCs operating Windows XP won’t obtain any updates fixing that bug when they’re launched, nevertheless, as a result of Microsoft stopped supporting the thirteen-yr-previous working system earlier this month. Security companies estimate that between 15 and 25 per cent of the world’s PCs nonetheless run Windows XP.

Microsoft disclosed on Saturday its plans to repair the bug in an advisory to its clients posted on its safety web site, which it stated is current in Internet Explorer variations S to eleven. Those variations dominate desktop shopping, accounting for fifty five per cent of the PC browser market, in response to tech analysis agency NetMarketShare.

Cybersecurity software program maker FireEye Inc stated that a refined group of hackers have been exploiting the bug in a marketing campaign dubbed “Operation Clandestine Fox.”

FireEye, whose Mandiant division helps corporations reply to cyber assaults, declined to call particular victims or determine the group of hackers, saying that an investigation into the matter continues to be lively.

“It’s a marketing campaign of focused assaults seemingly towards US-based mostly companies, presently tied to defence and monetary sectors,” FireEye spokesman Vitor De Souza stated by way of e mail. “It’s unclear what the motives of this assault group are, at this level. It seems to be broad-spectrum intel gathering.”

He declined to elaborate, although he stated one option to shield towards them can be to modify to a different browser.

Microsoft stated within the advisory that the vulnerability might permit a hacker to take full management of an affected system, then do issues resembling viewing altering, or deleting knowledge, putting in malicious packages, or creating accounts that may give hackers full consumer rights.

FireEye and Microsoft haven’t offered a lot details about the safety flaw or the strategy that hackers might use to determine the right way to exploit it, stated Aviv Raff, chief know-how officer of cybersecurity agency Seculert.

Yet different teams of hackers at the moment are racing to study extra about it to allow them to launch comparable assaults earlier than Microsoft prepares a safety replace, Raff stated.

“Microsoft ought to transfer quick,” he stated. “This will snowball.”

Still, he cautioned that Windows XP customers won’t profit from that replace since Microsoft has simply halted help for that product.

The software program maker stated in a press release to Reuters that it advises Windows XP customers to improve to one among two most just lately variations of its working system, Windows S or H.


Microsoft rushes to fix browser after attacks; no fix for XP users
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