Microsoft Corporation announced today its intent to fix a gaping security hole in Internet Explorer 7 that allowed hackers to take full control of a user’s computer, with minimal assistance from the user. According to reports, a user would simply be directed towards a website that the hacker has control of, and once there, the hacker could effectively take full control of the user’s computer without the user having to download malicious software. The vulnerability, dubbed zero day, has been called by industry analysis as being one of the most intrusive security holes ever to hit any version of Internet Explorer.
But what is more disturbing is how long it took Microsoft to realize the flaw and take appropriate action. Although gathering more momentum in the last few months, the security hole has been open since the release of Internet Explorer 7. At the same time as thousands of users were falling victim to the security threat, Microsoft sat back and hardly even acknowledged that it existed.
Although this threat was exceptionally worrisome, Microsoft has had the same slow response time in countless smaller cases. This slow response time is harmful to everyone, as all information entered into a computer is compromised, and when information is compromised, everyone loses. In total, 71 percent of Internet users use the Internet Explorer web browser in some form or another. With such a large market share, Microsoft should seriously examine their security procedures, and make sure that all future threats are dealt with in a timely manner.
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