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Yesterday, a security flaw was discovered in Internet Explorer. This is known as a “zero-day” threat because there was zero time between the discovery of the vulnerability and the first attack by someone exploiting it.

What does this mean?

These “zero day” attacks are actually quite common, however, this one is slighltly alarming because it is the first threat for users still running Windows XP, a 12-year old operating system that Microsoft discontinued support for earlier this month. Typically, these vulnerabilities are patched very quickly. But since Windows XP is now unsupported, Microsoft is no longer releasing updates for it – meaning any computer (at work or home) will remain vulnerable to attack.

How can I stay protected?

This security flaw only affects Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11, so if you are running Windows XP, we recommend using an alternative browser (such as Firefox or Chrome) until the computer is replaced with one running a newer oprating system. Users of Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 do not need to change browsers.

Also, If your work or home computers are running Windows XP, we highly recommend upgrading your hardware.

This is a situation where we place our trust in industry-standard hardware, applications, and the deployment of automatic Windows Updates. Once the vulnerabilities are exposed, a patch is typically rolled out in a very short period of time.

What if I need help?

For more information, please see the following: Hackers targeting newly discovered flaw in Internet Explorer

If you have any questions about a specific workstation or would like assistance with changing your Internet browser, please don’t hesitate to contact us.