After computer security experts began sounding the alarm about a vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser that could leave computers open to hijackers, the software giant announced that would release a "fix" for the problem on Wednesday.
Part of the problem is that machines running Internet Explorer can be tricked into visiting Web sites loaded with malicious code. Those sites, most of them based in China, spew out programs that allow hackers to steal passwords off of infected machines. The main motive for this is to crack passwords for computer games although the antivirus software maker Trend Micro Inc warns that criminals could easily move in and compromise victims' financial accounts.
In a security advisory, Microsoft said "We are aware only of attacks that attempt to use this vulnerability against Windows Internet Explorer 7" although the company acknowledged that the flaw potentially could affect all versions of the popular browser.
Many security experts are urging Internet Explorer users to use another browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome until Microsoft releases a patch for the vulnerability. Most of the world's personal computers are running various versions of Internet Explorer.
This article was written on a PC running Firefox.
MICROSOFT SECURITY ADVISORY: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/961051.mspx