Microsoft have released an emergency update for its Internet Explorer browser to fix a bug that cybercriminals have been exploiting.
The bug allows criminals to hijack the web browser, providing criminals with the ability to install malicious software onto users Windows devices.
Websites booby-trapped with malicious software have already been discovered to be exploiting the Internet Explorer vulnerability. Those using the Internet Explorer browser are highly at risk as visiting these websites makes it incredibly easy for criminals to access your browser and begin installing malware to their devices.
Microsoft stopped updates for Internet Explorer to prioritise its Microsoft Edge browser which is preinstalled on all Windows 10 devices. Despite prioritising Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer is also preinstalled on to all Windows operating systems. It is very rare for Microsoft to release emergency updates, any bugs and patches that they need to implement tend to be released in their weekly security updates.
Microsoft stopped supporting Internet Explorer in January 2016, which has meant that the browser has not received security updates and patches in almost 4 years.
Recent statistics show that 8% of Windows users still use the Internet Explorer browser, which is a lot when you realise that over 1 billion people use Windows devices. With this and the fact that the vulnerability is being exploited explains why Microsoft have urgently released the update despite the fact that they no longer support the browser.
It is critical that all Windows devices have this update installed, even if you do not use Internet Explorer yourself. Cyber Wise recommends that all devices are kept up to date at all times to ensure they are protected with all the latest security updates and patches.
You can install the patch by checking for updates in the Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 settings. Those who are still on Windows 7 can check for updates in the Control Panel.
If you need any support regarding the update or cyber security in general, please get in touch with our specialist Cyber Wise team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0161 476 8276.