CYBER SECURITY experts are warning that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has a critical flaw that allows hackers to spy on you and steal your personal data even if you don’t use the browser.
Internet Explorer was discontinued in 2015 but is still installed on over 1 billion computers.
Security researcher John page found the security flaw.
He explained to ZDNet that the vulnerability lies in file extensions within the browser like saved webpages.
If a hacker were to send a a malicious file extension as a downloadable link or email attachment then Internet Explorer can be the default application to open this on Windows software.
Page says that once a user has opened this file and has been encouraged to press certain keys or print commands then an external attacker can “exfiltrate local files and conduct remote reconnaissance.”
How to delete Internet Explorer on Windows 10
The steps to take to uninstall the browser from your computer…
- Press the Windows logo key+R to open the “Run” box
- Type in “appwiz.cpl”, and then select “OK”
- Find the “Programs and Features” item and select “Turn Window features on or off”
- In the “Windows Features” dialog box, find the entry for the installed version of Internet Explorer and then clear the check box
- Select “OK”
- Then restart your computer
Page also highlighted that users won’t receive warnings when their computer is being hacked.
He said: “Typically, when instantiating ActiveX Objects […] users will get a security warning bar in IE and be prompted to activate blocked content.
“However, when opening a specially crafted .MHT file using malicious < xml > markup tags the user will get no such active content or security bar warnings.”
Internet Explorer on Windows 7, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 can be hacked.
Page said he had to highlight the threat online because he told Microsoft the company apparently acknowledged the threat but would not treat it as an urgent matter.
Microsoft responded to Page: “We determined that a fix for this issue will be considered in a future version of this product or service. At this time, we will not be providing ongoing updates of the status of the fix for this issue, and we have closed this case.”
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Do you use Internet Explorer? Let us know in the comments…