Microsoft Internet Explorer security flaw could put users at risk

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In terms of market share, Internet Explorer remains the top web browser thanks to being the default on Windows and average users not knowing any better. Those with a lean towards technology frequently use alternatives like Chrome and Firefox. This was a major problem in the days of IE 6, but Microsoft has improved its offering with each iteration.

But no software is perfect and security holes are found on a regular basis. This time it seems Microsoft's browser has a major one. The flaw that has been discovered can be used to exploit users via phishing attacks and malicious code insertion.

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Security researcher Graham Cluley reports "The bug, which works on Internet Explorer 11 running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, is a universal cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability, and bypasses what is known as the Same-Origin Policy".

Same Origin Policy is used to protect the browser from malicious code injection. Swati Khandelwal of The Hacker News describes it this way -- "SOP actually prevents one site from accessing or modifying the browser properties, such as cookies, location, response etc, by any other site, ensuring that no third-party can inject code without the authorization of the owner of the website".

The flaw was discovered by David Leo, who posted details along with a proof-of-concept. The flaw apparently only affects Internet Explorer 11, but given that version runs on both Windows 7 and Windows 8.x, it leaves a lot of people potentially vulnerable.

So far, there are no actual reports of this in the wild. If you are using Microsoft's browser then consider making the move to another -- until a fix is found for it.

Photo Credit: ra2studio / Shutterstock

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