Updated: September 09, 2021 09:02 PM
Created: September 09, 2021 05:56 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Today we're alerting you to a warning from Microsoft. The company has discovered that hackers have found a new way to infect your computer with malware.
Hackers are exploiting a vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows version of Internet Explorer. So the onus is on Microsoft to fix it. But here's the problem. They haven't developed a patch yet. So protecting our computers is up to us.
Here's what Microsoft is saying: "Microsoft is aware of targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability by using specially-crafted Microsoft office documents."
So here's what's happening. Hackers are targeting victims through Microsoft Office documents. They trick you into opening a malicious office document. And that spells trouble. Your click then opens a page on Internet Explorer and unleashes malware onto your computer.
So first you need to assess whether you're at risk. If you're using Explorer, you're at risk.
Explorer has been Microsoft's browser of choice for 25 years. Click here to see what the Explorer browser symbol looks like.
But if you have Windows 10 installed on your PC, the default browser is Microsoft's new baby, Microsoft Edge. Click here to see what the symbol for Edge looks like. If you're using Edge, you're likely not at risk.
So for Microsoft Explorer users, the first thing you need to do is disable Active X software from Internet Explorer. I know. For many folks, I might as well be speaking German.
Simply put, Active X is a software framework that helps your browser do more stuff. It gives it more functionality. But it's also an unlocked door that's inviting in some bad actors. So you need to disable it. Here’s how according to Dummies.com.
Don’t turn this exercise into a witch hunt. You’ll find good ActiveX controls as well as evil ActiveX controls. In fact, if the entire issue bugs you, just use Firefox rather than Internet Explorer.
Consumer Reports has tested antivirus software and has recommendations. Click here for that.
As for protections from Microsoft, it says it’s working on it. Until then, it's up to us.
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