Microsoft has moved to reassure users and the corporate world that everything possible is being done to address concerns about an Internet Explorer (IE) vulnerability, after the attacks on Google and other companies in China.
Microsoft Singapore's office said much work is being done to "provide accurate information, advice and the next steps on the recent series of stories and chatter on (the) IE vulnerability".
"It is unfortunate that our product is being used in the pursuit of criminal activity," said Mike Chambers, Communications & Community Affairs Manager, Microsoft Singapore. "We will continue to work with Google, industry leaders and the appropriate authorities to investigate this situation."
Chambers said the latest development was the release of the 'out-of-band patch' early Friday morning Singapore time.
"All customers not running Automatic Updates for currently supported versions of Windows and Internet Explorer are advised to apply this update as soon as possible," he said. "Once applied, customers are protected against the known attacks that have been widely publicized".
Chambers said that for more details on the patch, people should refer to the updated Microsoft Security blog, check out the Microsoft Singapore press page.
"We will continue to provide updates and new information as it comes out to keep you apprised of the situation," he said.
Here's Microsoft's guidance to consumers and businesses:
• Just like regularly updating anti-virus software protects against new and constantly evolving viruses and worms, keeping your browser and other software up-to-date by upgrading to the latest versions is the best way to benefit from improved security protections. To that end, Microsoft strongly recommends that customers using Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 7 upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 as soon as possible. Customers using Internet Explorer 8 are not affected by currently known attacks and exploits due to the improved security protections provided in IE8
• Microsoft also recommends that customers using Windows XP SP2 upgrade to Windows XP SP3.
• Alternatively, based on the recommendations in the Security Advisory, Microsoft continues to encourage customers to follow the "Protect Your Computer" guidance of enabling a firewall, applying all software updates and installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Additional information can be found at Security at home; you can also find out how to download and apply the Microsoft FixIT tool.
Chambers said that "A permanent fix is in the works, and will be released as soon as the necessary testing is done".
This story, "Microsoft Defends Browser Patch" was originally published by MIS Asia.