Hackers find new crack in WindowsDecember 20, 2008 – 10:05 AM
Microsoft Corp. rushed out an emergency patch Wednesday to fix a major security flaw in its Internet Explorer Web browser that has allowed hackers to infect millions of computers with viruses and steal personal information.
So far, the vulnerability has not led to the widespread infections common a few years ago. Even so, one Central Florida expert said it was the most serious computer-security threat in years.
The flaw, first discovered in China, enables hackers to infect a Windows user’s computer through certain Web sites. So far, more than 10,000 Web pages have been infected, with many of them devoted to pornography and gaming. According to news reports, about 2 million computers have been infected so far.
Unlike with past viruses, the user does not have to download or click on anything, and nothing pops on the screen to announce you’ve got it. But once the computer is infected, the hacker has total control and access to everything, including tax records, bank passwords and Social Security numbers.