Last weekend Microsoft announced the first major security flaw to the now un-supported Windows XP operating system. The OS, originally released in 2001, no longer receives patch updates including for Internet Explorer (even though IE6 still gets patches for Windows Server 2003). In what the internet security industry refers to as “drive-by” attacks on web browsers, hackers take advantage of the vulnerable Internet Explorer browser to send users to whatever web pages they want. Only this time, there will be no security patch for XP users.
Microsoft said on Saturday the company is aware of targeted attacks on Windows Internet Explorer versions back to IE6, and says XP has a 66% chance of being infected due to its retired status. Windows XP users can avoid the IE/XP vulnerability by using another web browser such as FireFox, Apple Safari, or Chrome. There are also some other steps you can take by visiting Microsoft’s download website to check out the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 4.1.