Germany urges citizens not to use Internet Explorer

A recently discovered exploit in some versions of Internet Explorer web browser has caused the German government to tell its citizens to use alternatives, at least for now. The exploit, which was first reported over the weekend and confirmed by Microsoft Monday, is apparently already being used by hackers to deliver the "Poison Ivy" malware via a back door method.

Reuters reports that the German government's Federal Office for Information Security issued a statement that urged PC users in that country to use alternative web browsers until Microsoft releases a software fix. The statement added, "A fast spreading of the code has to be feared."

The malware can be delivered by hackers via websites that use Flash to delivery the program, thanks to a "zero-day" security hole. The issue affects IE7, IE8, and IE9 on Windows XP, Vista and 7.

In a security alert on Monday, Microsoft said that it was investigating the issue and added, "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."

In the meantime, Microsoft said that IE users should take precautions such as applying all software updates, establishing a firewall on their PC and updating their anti-virus software.

Source: Reuters | Image via Microsoft

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