Internet Explorer Flaw

  • Many of you will have noticed various stories in the media about flaws in Microsoft Internet Explorer which can lead to hacking problems, e.g.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8465038.stm

    and

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/15/ie_zero_day_exploit_goes_wild/

    For Staff and Student PCs managed by LIS I believe the situation is OK, they are running Windows XP SP3 with IE 7 but with DEP enabled which is supposed to mitigate the problem – I will ask my staff to check again tomorrow that this is the case.

    For non LIS managed PCs, you will need to check with whoever manages your PC. However, if that is you or you have admin rights, then check this article for a fix.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979352

    Note that alternative solutions include upgrading to IE 8 or using another browser (e.g. FireFox or Chrome).  The actual attach requires you to use the browser to read a specific piece of HTML code (a hacked web page or HTML email for example).  Also note that “blaming MS again” isn’t a particularly valid approach as security flaws like this are common to many bits of software (Mac, PC, or Linux), it’s just this one’s the root cause of a high profile hack involving Google in China.

    Obviously, this problem applies to your home PCs too, and I would strongly recommend ensuring that you keep your PCs up to date using “Windows Update” and using a current Security solution like the Symantec AV package used on Campus.  (Same advice to Linux and Mac users – keep patched up to date!).

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