Internet Explorer users with the Windows XP operating system need to practice caution around web sites that prompt them to press the F1 key (the key for Help) due to a new vulnerability that has been discovered in Internet Explorer. The vulnerability would allow a hacker to highjack your PC if you press F1 when prompted on a malicious web site.
Microsoft issued a security advisory on Monday. According to the advisory, “Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a vulnerability in VBScript that is exposed on supported versions of Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 through the use of Internet Explorer. Our investigation has shown that the vulnerability cannot be exploited on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008. The main impact of the vulnerability is remote code execution.”
According to this article from Computerworld, Microsoft acknowledged that Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 users are all at risk.
The article also states that Microsoft has not set a timeline for the fix. The next scheduled security patch from Microsoft is due to be released on March 9.
Until that time, it is highly recommended that Windows XP users do not press the F1 key while using Internet Explorer.
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