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The vulnerability was first disclosed on 24 October and exists in the iFrame tags of Internet Explorer, allowing hackers to exploit a buffer overflow flaw to take complete control of a compromised system. They could then direct users to websites through compromised ad banners, where the site could download malicious code to the user's PC.
Microsoft also reissued three of its fixes from October for users of Windows XP Service Pack 1, who were not automatically offered the updates through Microsoft's Windows Update and Automatic Updates service. This is because they may be SP1 users who have downloaded the XP SP2 patch but have not yet installed it, said Microsoft.