The US Department of Homeland Security has advised Americans not to use the Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser until a fix is found for a serious security flaw that was discovered over the weekend.
The alarm was first sounded on 26 April by US internet security software group
FireEye Research Labs
, which is based in Milpitas, California.
“We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem,” the Department of Homeland Security’s US computer emergency readiness team admitted two days after the bug was discovered. It recommended that users and administrators “consider employing an alternative Web browser until an official update is available.”
The security flaw allows malicious hackers to get around security protections in the Windows operating system. They then can be infected when visiting a compromised website. As the hack uses a corrupted Adobe Flash file to attack the victim’s computer, users can avoid it by turning off Adobe Flash.
“The attack will not work without Adobe Flash,” FireEye said. “Disabling the Flash plugin within IE will prevent the exploit from functioning.” The group added that while the bug affects all versions of Internet Explorer 6 through 11 it is currently targeting IE9 and IE10.
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