Last week a security flaw was found in Internet Explorer that allows a remote user to control one’s computer without one’s permission or knowledge. How is this possible? Well, for starters, FireEye’s (an antivirus company) blog reports that the exploit is more easy to perform on XP than on Windows 7 or 8 (another good reasons to upgrade to Windows 7, folks!). Secondly, they say that it also requires the corruption of some code in Adobe Flash. This makes it even more unlikely that one’s computer will be compromised, but the possibility exists and should be remedied with the patch provided by Microsoft.
Software development is always a delicate balance of security and usability. Microsoft is doing its best to support its new line of products and the Windows 8 platform, but in the case of this critical security patch they decided to provide support to Windows XP users who are affected by the security flaw. Many times, a program’s intended function can be used by hackers to do things that compromise privacy and security. This is why it’s important to either turn-on Automatic Updates on your software (Microsoft updates, Adobe updates, Java updates, etc.) or make sure to respond quickly to new patch notes. You know what those are don’t you? There the annoying pop-ups that you get at the opening of Windows saying “A new update is available!” Be wary though, some updates can also do harm to your computer.
Halo’s Guardian Angel service provides intelligent updating to our clients. We read the patch notes on all updates, and we wait a few days after their release in order to allow the general public who Automatically-Update to test the patches before we release them to our clients. One thing is for certain: If you use Internet Explorer you need to install the patch!