TIME Security

Microsoft Admits to Huge Security Flaw in Internet Explorer

The tech giant is working to fix a bug in its web browser that allows hackers on the same network as much access as a legitimate user. The flaw is particularly hazardous when the software is run from the Windows XP operating system

A flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser could allow hackers access to the personal information of countless millions of web users, especially those still using Windows XP.

On Sunday, the company warned of a glitch in versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer that potentially give data thieves using a network computer the same level of access as the legitimate user.

Admitting to being aware of “limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit a vulnerability,” Microsoft explained that the “vulnerability exists in the way that Internet Explorer accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated.”

Internet Explorer’s market share has dropped precipitously over the past decade, but it remains the browser of choice for around 10% of netizens — behind Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

The bug’s disclosure comes in the wake of Microsoft’s much publicized decision to stop supporting the Windows XP operating system.

“XP users are not safe anymore, and this is the first vulnerability that will be not patched for their system,” Internet security firm Symantec Corp. researcher Christian Tripputi wrote in a blog post.

MORE: Internet Explorer Security Flaw: 4 Ways to Protect Yourself

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team