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Microsoft says IE zero-day fix on the way

19 Sep 2012
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Microsoft is looking to ease user fears over high-profile vulnerability in Internet Explorer, promising it will have a fix available later this week.

The company confirmed it will be posting a fix to addresses the remote code execution vulnerability in IE 7 and IE 8 for 32-bit Windows XP systems. The fix will be an 'out of band' update as the company is not slated to release its next monthly update until 9 October.

"There have been an extremely limited number of attacks — the vast majority of Internet Explorer users have not been impacted," Microsoft Trustworthy Computing director YunSun Wee said in a statement released by the company late Tuesday.

"We are working on an easy-to-use, one-click fix that will be released in the next few days, but in the meantime we recommend customers make sure their anti-virus software is up-to-date."

The flaw, which had previously been unknown, has been actively exploited in recent days by a cybercriminal gang to perform remote Trojan downloads on targeted systems.

According to researchers, the attackers are actively targeting victims with specially-crafted .swf files and using sophisticated techniques such as steering non-vulnerable systems away to outside pages.

Since the attack was spotted, Microsoft has come under fire from security experts who have been advising users to stop using Internet Explorer in favour of a competing browser.

On Tuesday, the German BSI weighed in on the matter when it also suggested that users and administrators should temporarily abandon IE while Microsoft develops a fix.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has posted a series of tips for mitigating the flaw including limiting scripting permissions and installing the company's own browser security tools.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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