A new security warning issued by Microsoft this week affects a large number of Windows users. In fact, according to the Microsoft site, people who should read the warning include “Customers who use Microsoft Windows”. That’s a pretty broad field.
The security issue, rated by Microsoft as “Critical”, involves a process known as “remote code execution” with Internet Explorer.
According to the warning, “If a user is logged on with administrative privileges, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system, including installing programs; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or creating new accounts with full privileges. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer privileges on the system would be at less risk than users who operate with administrative privileges.”
Microsoft has placed an update on their site, which they recommend users install immediately. However, they also warn that the update can create known issues for users. For example, after installing the security update, when you are using Windows Media Player, and you click to play a chapter in certain DVDs, the chapter will not play.
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The versions of Windows which are affected by this security hole, and for which this update is recommended, include:
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Service Pack 6a
Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 6
The affected components are various flavours of Internet Explorer 6.X. Earlier versions do not appear to be affected.
You can read more about this, and get the security update, at the [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead].
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