The vulnerability affecting all versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser is so serious that US Homeland Security has issued a warning and told users to look to other browsers.
In a statement, the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) said:
US-CERT recommends that users and administrators review Microsoft Security Advisory 2963983 for mitigation actions and workarounds. Those who cannot follow Microsoft’s recommendations, such as Windows XP users, may consider employing an alternate browser.
US agencies do not issue software warning very often, but large computer networks as they are mean that a large number of users within the US government will be using a version of IE, and some still even using Windows XP, which puts them at an even greater risk and means they will not get a patch when it is available.
Microsoft’s next scheduled “Patch Tuesday” is not until 13 May, although with such a serious vulnerability on such a widely used piece of software they will hopefully push a patch to users around the world much earlier.