The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are warning users about the recently uncovered Internet Explorer 8 vulnerability. Microsoft has released a “Fix It” to patch the critical security hole.“A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft's web browser, Internet Explorer, which could allow an attacker to take complete control of an affected system. Exploitation may occur if a user visits or is redirected to a web page which is specifically crafted to take advantage of the vulnerability,” reads the advisory from the FBI.
“Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Failed exploit attempts may result in a denial-of-service condition.”
The BBB recommends all Internet users to apply the workaround immediately. The organization informs users that Microsoft will issue an advisory once the permanent patch becomes available.
The Fix It can be run even by users who don’t know which version of Internet Explorer they’re running. If it’s another variant than 8, they will be informed that their systems are not at risk.
“This is a good opportunity for BBB to reinforce how critical it is to maintain up-to-date anti-virus software on every computer, tablet and smart phone connected to the internet,” said Ben Steinberg, chief information officer of the Council of Better Business Bureau.
“Consumers also need to be extremely cautious when clicking on links in email and social media messages, or opening email attachments. Scammers are very sophisticated in their techniques, and the results can be devastating: identity theft, loss of personal data, bank and credit card fraud. If you are not sure, don’t click.”