U.S. govt. advises people to use browsers other than IE after zero-day flaw is revealed

After Microsoft revealed that a flaw in Internet Explorer 6 through 11 could allow a hacker to “gain the same user rights as the current user,” the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, suggested that people should turn to another Web browser.

“US-CERT recommends that users and administrators enable Microsoft EMET where possible and consider employing an alternative web browser until an official update is available,” the agency said, via this official blog post.

Microsoft is already working on a fix for the flaw.

“On completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to protect our customers, which may include providing a solution through our monthly security update release process, or an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs,” Redmond said in this security bulletin.

However, if you use Windows XP, the version of Internet Explorer you use won’t be patched, leaving you permanently vulnerable to this flaw as long as you continue using IE. If you’re unwilling to upgrade to an operating system that’s still supported by Microsoft, like Windows 7 or Windows 8, you should strongly consider switching to a browser that isn’t vulnerable to this threat, like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. However, it’s worth noting that FireEye, the Internet security firm which claims to have initially discovered the flaw, reported that most of the attacks that have been documented have primarily targeted Internet Explorer 9 through 11.

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