Microsoft has been doing some desperate fire fighting since a flaw in its Internet Explorer browser was found to have been the vector by which Chinese hackers attempted to infiltrate Google's systems.
Since then, both the French and German authorities have urged their citizens to use another browser until the flaw is patched.
But Microsoft UK's chief security officer Cliff Evans was keen to stress to V3.co.uk yesterday that although the vulnerability technically affects IE6, IE7 and IE8, "the exploits we're seeing out there at the moment only affect IE6", which is the smallest group of IE users in the UK.
The message was loud and clear - upgrade to IE8, whose advanced security features which include the SmartScreen filter and Data Execution Protection, will make it extremely difficult for hackers to implement the exploit code effectively on this browser.
As to whether Redmond will implement a security fix as part of the next scheduled patch Tuesday or an out-of-band release, Evans argued the team will need to take a considered view.
"The actual risk is minimal - you'd need to be using IE6 on XP and to visit these [malicious] sites," he added. "We'll have to balance the perceived risk with getting people to roll out yet another update."
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