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March 3, 2010

Microsoft Issues New Security Advisory on IE Attack through F1 Key

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by Franz Bicar

People still use IE. Don’t get me wrong, IE8 is pretty good. Running on Windows Vista, Server 2008, and Windows 7, IE8 is even more secure. But because majority of the world still uses windows 2000 and Windows XP, situations like this still happen.

Microsoft issued a new security advisory involving any version of Internet Explorer running on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. The security threat allows a malicious web site to inflitrate your PC. The vulnerability, detailed in an advisory put out yesterday, allows a specially crafted site to essentially reach through Internet Explorer using VBScript to access “inherently unsafe” Windows Help files. The web site would instruct a user to press the F1 key, thereby launching the attack.

As mentioned, Windows Vista, Server 2008, and Windows 7 are not affected.

As an advice, whenever you’re using IE and you encounter a site that prompts a message box telling you to press F1, then either log off your current session or terminate IE using the Task Manager.

If you’re still using Windows XP or Windows 2000 as your main operating system, then I guess its time for you to either change your browser or upgrade to a more recent OS. Hopefully, Microsoft will patch this vulnerability. But for others, it’s just not worth it anymore, so just go on and upgrade.

Story link: Microsoft Issues New Security Advisory on IE Attack through F1 Key


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