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Microsoft patches critical IE flaws

Antony Savvas

Microsoft has patched a number of serious security flaws in its Windows operating system, which mainly relate to holes in the company’s Internet Explorer browser.

Released as part of the company’s monthly patching cycle, the security bulletin plugs four security holes in Internet Explorer (IE), two of them described as “critical” by the company.

“An attacker who successfully exploited the most severe of these vulnerabilities could take complete control of an affected system,” Microsoft said in its security advisory.

The flaws affect all versions of the browser running on all types of Windows system.

Two patches stop remote attackers from taking over users’ machines, through specially crafted malicious websites visited by users and IE has also been updated to tackle other vulnerabilities.

IE now prevents Sony’s insecure anti-piracy rootkit from working on users’ machines. The rootkit, which came with music CDs, was installed without users knowing about it, and was discovered last month as a possible vehicle for remote attackers.

It can be used to attack computer users once they put a Sony music CD in their PCs.

With the patches now out and more details of the vulnerabilities now being known, security software companies like Symantec have warned that wider attacks using the flaws are imminent.

Users, they said therefore need to patch their machines as quickly as possible.  


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