A New Cyberthreat for Internet Explorer and Other Microsoft Apps

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Ah, Internet Explorer. Although it has been the butt of jokes compared to other browsers like Chrome and Opera in the past decade, the digital world wouldn’t be what it is without it. 

Currently, Microsoft’s primary internet browser enjoys a cultural icon-like status that has made it the subject of memes, discussions, throwbacks, and “remember whens.” However, recent developments have made it a growing point of concern among cybersecurity experts because hackers now use Internet Explorer to carry out a string of threats online. 

A Background Check on the Threat in Question

Recently, Microsoft has notified users and internet searchers that cybercriminals are taking advantage of an associated issue known as a zero-day vulnerability

The way this particular threat works is it allows threat actors or hackers to take control of PCs using compromised websites or malicious Office documents using Internet Explorer. Affecting Windows 10 users and specific Windows Server versions, this exploit raises concern because of how much of a potential widespread issue it can become. 

Recently, Microsoft has been investigating reports of a remote code execution vulnerability in MSHTML that affects Microsoft Windows—a vital source of the problem, according to experts. Thanks to their efforts, the software giant is aware of the targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability using specially crafted Office documents.

How Does It Work?

The way Microsoft’s latest problem with its software, Internet Explorer, and Office systems work is rather straightforward.

Most—if not all—of the attacks begin with an attacker crafting a malicious ActiveX control that a Microsoft Office document eventually uses and hosts the browser rendering engine. After the payload is created, a threat actor must convince a target or victim to open the harmful document—something that happens through urgencies like fake alerts or impersonations. 

Based on the way the threats in question work, the most vulnerable types of users or systems are those that operate with administrative user rights. This essentially means that users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could face less impact than the kinds of users mentioned above. 

What Is Microsoft Doing About It?

Based on the current state of the situation, you can expect the best forecast for a complete fix for the recent string of threats affecting computers to be deployed in the coming days. 

As of now, both Microsoft’s Defender Antivirus and Defender for Endpoint programs have been updated to detect and protect computers, servers, and systems from the known vulnerability. When you consider this, customers must keep their anti-malware products up-to-date. Enterprise customers who manage updates manually, in particular, should select the detection build 1.349.22.0 or newer when protecting their systems and computers as much as possible.

With the previously mentioned fixes in place, any possible presence of the threat in question should prompt Microsoft Defender for Endpoint alerts that state: “Suspicious Cpl File Execution.” However, more effective fixes and the total eradication of the problem in question is expected to come with a “monthly release process or to provide an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs.”

If you’re looking to protect your computers, servers, and systems from the cybersecurity threats affecting Microsoft systems, programs, and more, Finchum Fixes It is here to help!

Conclusion

Although Microsoft programs and software like Windows 10, Internet Explorer, and Office Suites are as safe and secure as can be, a current executable threat poses much danger. By watching out for the potential risks online, you can ensure that you keep your IT as well-protected as possible in the near future! 

We’re a team of specialists in computer repair in Greenwood, Indiana, serving all types of devices, ranging from cutting-edge Windows PCs to well-loved MacBooks. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you best!

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