Microsoft is urging Internet Explorer (IE) users to download a fix for a bug in the software that could enable hackers to read private files.
Big Green said it rushed out the patch before making any public announcements because it did not want to alert hackers to the problem.
The Cross Frame Navigate bug ?involves a vulnerability in IE that could allow a malicious hacker to circumvent certain IE security safeguards?, said Microsoft. It also enables irreputable Web site developers to include code that can read the contents of files on your computer if they know your specific name.
This bug could also affect software that uses HTML functionality provided by IE. Anyone using such programs should download the patch even if they do not run Internet Explorer as their default browser, said Microsoft.
The Cross Frame Navigate bug, which was discovered by a Bulgarian user last month, affects IE 3 and 4 running on Windows 3x, 95, 98, NT and most versions of the Mac operating system.
Microosft said that it has not received any reports from users being adversely affected by the Cross Frame Navigate bug, but had decided to release a patch to address the implied risks posed.
A simlar bug was found in IE3 in August 1997. A patch was issued almost immediately which solved the problem.
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