The cat's out of the bag, folks. It looks like Microsoft is going to ignore a potentially dangerous security flaw. Now that the secret is out, hackers can use this bug to get around your computer's defenses more easily than you would like to know.
This major flaw in Microsoft's web browser, Internet Explorer, could put millions of users at risk. Worse yet, Microsoft actually knew about the flaw and released it onto the public anyway. The flaw makes it even easier for hackers to break into your computer and trick you into handing over your passwords and lock codes. Microsoft reportedly spent $125,000 to investigate the flaw, all for naught.
The company that was hired to investigate the repercussions of the massive Internet Explorer breach was told that fixing the flaw "wasn't worth it," even though it spent a large amount of money investigating it in depth. As a company that is notorious for being vulnerable to hacking, you would think Microsoft would want to protect its reputation!
HP security research employee Dustin Childs wrote a public letter proclaiming this flaw for Microsoft users to know. He wrote, "We disagree with that opinion and are releasing the proof-of-concept information to the community in the belief that concerned users should be as fully informed as possible in order to take whatever measures they find appropriate for their own installations."
Apparently this isn't the first time that Microsoft has ignored a major security issue. Childs continued, "... we’ve handled vulnerabilities and vendor responses for nearly 10 years. This is hardly the first time a vendor has decided not to fix a problem we think they should."
There are some open-ended coding patches available online to users that know how to fix their own system. The rest of us non-computer-coding wizards will have to wait for the update from Microsoft itself.
If and when that happens, I'll be the first to let you know. Until Microsoft comes up with a solution, just be extra cautious when installing programs and information online. If it looks iffy, it probably isn't worth the risk!