Microsoft warns of IE6 vulnerability


Microsoft has warned users of its Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) browser to protect themselves againsts a vulnerability that has already been exploited by the bad guys.

The hole - an invalid pointer reference - could, in certain circumstances, allow an attacker to perform remote code execution, according to the software giant which has issued guidance as to how to safeguard against attack.

IE6 Service Pack 1 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and IE6, IE7 and IE8 on supported editions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 are vulnerable, Microsoft has confirmed.

"Microsoft is aware of public exploit code released that impacts customers using Internet Explorer 6 and of limited, targeted attacks attempting to use this vulnerability against Internet Explorer (IE) 6. As a result of the reports, we released an update to Security Advisory 979352 to alert customers and provide actionable guidance and tools to help with protections against exploit of this IE vulnerability," said a Microsoft spokesperson, in a statement.

"Customers using Internet Explorer 8 are not affected by currently known attacks and exploits due to the improved security protections in IE8. To help protect our customers, we recommend that all customers immediately upgrade to Internet Explorer 8. Customers should also consider applying the workarounds and mitigations provided in our Security Advisory such as putting Internet zone security settings to High."

Microsoft claims that it is working "around the clock" on a resolution that may result in the release of an out-of-cyle security patch.

Further updates on the situation and how the resolution progresses can be found on Microsoft's Security Response Centte (MSRC) blog.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.