Between the impending loss of support for Windows XP next year and the recent revelation that PCs running Windows XP are the ones most commonly infected with malware, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to hang onto aged versions of Windows operating systems. Here’s another bit of news that won’t calm your old OS lovin’ nerves either; there’s a newly discovered exploit out there that affects multiple versions of Internet Explorer on both Windows 7 and Windows XP.
There are multiple versions of Internet Explorer that are vulnerable to the newly uncovered exploit: IE 7, IE 8, IE 9 and IE 10. It was revealed by Dan Caselden and Xiaobo Chen, both of whom are researchers at FireEye, a cyber security outfit.
They say that “the exploit targets the English version of Internet Explorer, but we believe the exploit can be easily changed to leverage other languages. Based on our analysis, the vulnerability affects IE 7, 8, 9 and 10.” Caselden and Chen wrote in a blog post. They also stated that they are collaborating with the Microsoft Security team on “research activities.” As alluded to above, this only makes a bad situation worse considering a recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report found that Windows XP and Windows 7 users were much more vulnerable to malware than people running machines loaded with Windows 8.
So what can you do to protect yourself from this Internet Explorer vulnerability? Well, you could switch to Windows 8/8.1, or you can go the free route and just use a different browser, like Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, or Safari.