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Internet Explorer Security Flaw

I had initially decided to post this as an FB post, then realised it will be too long, so i decided to come here instead.

I keep telling people to be clever when dealing with the internet, and never to trust anything that comes from it. But as evidence has clearly shown, people are willing to click anything they find exciting despite the chances of it being true usually zero.

Internet Explorer Flaw

Internet Explorer Flaw

For example, on Facebook we have seen a number of posts with links to dubious websites with title like “Large snake eats baby alive” and a scary looking picture of a snake, or the RIP Messages with a number of different celebrities. Or the ever persistent view your profile views link. Or something like “WOW!! its cool WhatsApp now available on Fb try here —->”. 

All these usually turn out to be link to other link and eventually to nowhere or lead to a booby trapped website. But why am I saying all these?

Well, the reason is a security flaw has been found in Microsoft Internet Explorer. This is the security advisory from Microsoft:

The vulnerability exists in the way that Internet Explorer accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated. The vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer. An attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website.

What this means in simple is someone can take over your computer just by tricking you into visiting a website. So for example by clicking a booby trapped link on Facebook, someone gets to install whatever they want on your computer including key-loggers to steal your passwords and data, or basically command your computer to do some illegal things without you even noticing anything.

My advice is to stop clicking every link you see on Facebook. And whilst you are it, stop using Internet Explorer completely and move to either Firefox or Chrome. If you absolutely have to use IE, then temporarily disable Flash Playback or do the following:

To raise the browsing security level in Internet Explorer, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Internet Explorer Toolsmenu, click Internet Options.
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click Internet.
  3. Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all websites you visit to High.
  4. Click Local intranet.
  5. Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all websites you visit to High.
  6. Click OK to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note If no slider is visible, click Default Level, and then move the slider to High.

With these few stops you should be protected. But for the love of God, please stop clicking every link you see on social media or in emails. And if possible, just stop using Internet Explorer (sigh). Till next time, happy and safe browsing.

 

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