Internet Explorer Security Flaw Patched By Microsoft, Includes XP
May 2, 2014

Internet Explorer Security Flaw Patched By Microsoft, Includes XP

Enid Burns for - Your Universe Online

Microsoft issued a fix on Thursday to address a security flaw that left Internet Explorer vulnerable to attack. The fix has been made available as part of the software giant's Automatic Update.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about Internet Explorer when a zero-day exploit in the Microsoft browser was discovered last weekend. The warning advised Internet users to use other browsers until Microsoft was able to address the issue and fix it with a patch.

Microsoft issued that patch on Thursday morning. Details on the release were given on the Official Microsoft Blog, in a post from Adrienne Hall, general manager, Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft.

"This means that when we saw the first reports about this vulnerability we said fix it, fix it fast, and fix it for all our customers. So we did," wrote Hall, adding that Automatic Updates will resolve the issue.

The update covers all Microsoft users, including Windows XP users. The details were further discussed in a post on the Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

After several years of service, Microsoft said it would end support for the Windows XP operating system, which occurred earlier in April. A Webcast on Friday at 11 am PDT will discuss information on the bulletin.

"We have made the decision to issue a security update for Windows XP users. Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, and we continue to encourage customers to migrate to a modern operating system, such as Windows 7 or 8.1. Additionally, customers are encouraged to upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE 11," wrote Microsoft's Dustin C. Childs in the blog post.

"One of the things that drove much of this coverage was that it coincided with the end of support for Windows XP. Of course we’re proud that so many people loved Windows XP, but the reality is that the threats we face today from a security standpoint have really outpaced the ability to protect those customers using an operating system that dates back over a decade. This is why we’ve been encouraging Windows XP customers to upgrade to a modern, more secure operating system like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1," wrote Hall.

"Even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is past the time we normally provide security updates, we’ve decided to provide an update for all versions of Windows XP (including embedded), today. We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP. The reality is there have been a very small number of attacks based on this particular vulnerability and concerns were, frankly, overblown. Unfortunately this is a sign of the times and this is not to say we don’t take these reports seriously.  We absolutely do," Hall wrote.

"Just because this update is out now doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about getting off Windows XP and moving to a newer version of Windows and the latest version of Internet Explorer. If you are on Windows 7, upgrade to Internet Explorer 11. Our modern operating systems provide more safety and security than ever before. The latest version of Internet Explorer has increased support for modern web standards, better performance, and expanded the ability to deliver an immersive experience from within the browser. In other words, cool stuff that you need even if you didn’t know you need it.  And when you turn on auto update, we make sure your computer and your browser get better all the time."