A recently discovered bug in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser leaves all versions of the popular browser open to potential attacks, according to a security  advisory released by Microsoft on April 26, 2014. This security exploit is an unpatched flaw in the Internet Explorer browser that allows attackers to run malicious code remotely. Anyone in control of your computer can spy on everything you do and it is likely that users have been hacked and don’t even know it.

Homeland Security suggests not using Internet Explorer at all until a patch is released from Microsoft, which Microsoft is working to release as soon as possible. If you must use Internet Explorer, they advise you to disable the Adobe Flash player in your browser since this is how the code is entering computers. Browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are not affected.

Internet Explorer 6 through 11 are all at risk, on all current versions of Windows from Vista to 8 and Windows Server 2003 to 2012 R2. Windows XP is especially vulnerable, given that Microsoft discontinued support for the OS earlier this month and security patches will not be released to fix the flaw on Windows XP.

Until then users should exercise caution, and take steps like running alternative web browsers and downloading a Microsoft “toolkit” to help guard against attacks. We also recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or another browser until the issue is fixed.

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