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This browser may open you to an online attack

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There are many Internet browsers to choose from, all with varying degrees of online security. Tap or click here to see our ranking of the best browsers for privacy. But if there was ever a reason to move away from Microsoft’s old Internet Explorer (IE), it’s the new vulnerability.

If for some reason you refused to switch to Microsoft’s Edge browser or Google’s Chrome, you could be hacked. Looking at IE, security researchers have discovered a vulnerability that can give hackers full control of your machine.

To make matters worse, the detected exploit has been marked as a zero-day flaw and no fix is ​​available. Read on to find out just how dangerous this flaw really is.

Here is the backstory

This threat is up to you, usually via phishing emails. Hackers embed a malicious ActiveX control in a Microsoft Office document and email it, prompting you to open it.

Once you do, the malicious ActiveX control is triggered through Internet Explorer. The browser Trident engine is used to display Internet content in Office documents.

Track as CVE-2021-40444, a remote code execution vulnerability can be used for all kinds of malicious activity. This includes reading files and folders, taking full control of the machine, or creating new administrator profiles.

It has become customary for Microsoft not to disclose the nature or effects of the flaw. This closes the window of opportunity for hackers, reducing the chances of the loophole being exploited.

How to stay safe on Windows

It is always a good idea to keep your system up to date with the latest version. Microsoft advises users to ensure that their Microsoft Defender Antivirus and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint are updated to protect against this threat.

The built-in security program comes standard with Windows and “provides detection and protection for the known vulnerability”. In addition to this, users also need to update their third-party antivirus software. We recommend our sponsor, Total VA.

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In the meantime, Microsoft is hastily working on an official patch. The company has said it could be rolled out with the next Patch Tuesday update or as an out-of-cycle security update.

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