Internet Explorer out of band patch released, update now

Microsoft has issued security hot-fixes to patch a security vulnerability in Internet Explorer which saw Google fall victim to some targeted and sophisticated attacks recently.

The vulnerability was unveiled when Google went public that they were targeted in a sophisticated cyber-attack. The breach, involving Internet Explorer 6, resulted in the theft of intellectual property. Due to the attack, and the background behind it, Google announced it will no longer be providing censored results for its Chinese Google search engine. Currently Google offers censored search results as part of an agreement with the Chinese government.

Microsoft has been busy working on a fix for the issues and decided an out of band patch was required. Whilst it's a rare decision these days, Microsoft could ill afford to wait three weeks until the next "patch Tuesday" on February 9.

Since the news of the un-patched flaw broke, Microsoft has been on damage limitation. This week Microsoft began urging businesses and consumers to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8, explaining that the security benefits are far greater than that of Internet Explorer 6. Both the French and German governments warned their populations to cease using Internet Explorer due to the un-patched flaw. Currently the flaw exists in Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8 but exploit code is only available for Internet Explorer 6.

Windows Desktop downloads:

Windows Server downloads:

Thanks to Steven Bink at Bink.nu for the news tip

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