Internet Explorer Exploit Leaves XP Users High and Dry
For users of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, the best answer is to take steps to mitigate the threat by this latest vulnerability. Microsoft is already working on an update that will fix the problem. Meanwhile, Microsoft and everyone else from Symantec to DHS are recommending that you update your copy of Windows and Internet Explorer. For users of Windows XP, the only hope is that the mitigation steps work. Of course, there is one other way to make sure that the remote execution vulnerability becomes a short-term problem rather than a permanent handicap, and that's to dump XP and go to a newer version of Windows, such as Windows 7. Unfortunately, not every XP solution can be updated, and according to The Washington Post, that includes about 10 percent of computers being used by the U.S. government. Some of those old XP machines are on networks that don't have any access to the outside world. Unfortunately, many of those old government computers do have outside access, and while they're generally on secure networks, the information they contain is highly sensitive, adding to the risk if the vulnerability remains unpatched. The government has its own set of unique problems when it comes to spending money on updates to hardware and software, including being starved for funds by Congress. Your business, however, does not suffer from those problems, and that means there's really no good reason not to get your computers updated. Now that you know that the bad guys can hack into your computers quickly and easily using just a Website, you have even less of a reason.