Issue No. 22May 2014

Vulnerability in Internet Explorer

KTS sent out a security advisory on April 29, 2014 informing our clients of a vulnerability within Internet Explorer.  Microsoft has deployed an update which patches this vulnerability. KTS highly suggests that Windows Updates are run on ALL machines in order to deploy this patch. Microsoft has also released a patch for the unsupported, Windows XP operating system.  Below is a copy of the security advisory which was sent out for review.  As always, if you need any assistance with patching this, please contact our Support Desk.

What does this mean?

An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

What are the risks?

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. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These websites could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. Social media websites are a very likely vector for this attack as all content is user submitted and could contain malicious code.

How can you protect yourself?

Computers running versions of Windows that are supported by Microsoft will soon have updates issued by Microsoft to correct this exploit. In the meantime we recommend you avoid using Internet Explorer whenever possible to access the Internet, and instead install an alternate web browser such as:

Google Chrome (http://google.com/chrome)

-or-

Mozilla Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org).

If you have no alternative but Internet Explorer, we recommend you disable the Flash addon. See the following link for instructions:

https://www.kazmarek.com/disable-flash-in-ie/

What about Windows XP users?

If you are using Internet Explorer on a computer running Windows XP, you are at great risk. Product support for Windows XP has ended and no future updates or patches will be released. Your best course of action is to stop using Internet Explorer on any Windows XP computer, and to install an alternate web browser such as:

Google Chrome (http://google.com/chrome)

-or-

Mozilla Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org).

We strongly suggest you take action immediately to begin the process of migrating or replacing your Windows XP computers with systems running Windows 7 or Windows 8.

If you have questions or require assistance with the process of replacing Windows XP computers, Installing alternate web browsers or making changes to Internet Explorer to improve it’s security where browser alternatives are not an option,   please contact our Support Desk.

 

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