The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning to internet users regarding the widely used Internet Explorer browser earlier this week due to a serious security flaw in the programming. Private information could be compromised, lost and/or hacked.
"We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem," the Department of Homeland Security's United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team wrote stated in a press release. The bug effects versions of Internet Explorer 6 through 11, with IE9 and IE 10 being the most targeted in the security breach.
Microsoft, the developers of Internet Explorer, warn that hackers could commandeer control of one's computer if they click a suspected link. Any personal and financial information on that computer could then be compromised. Microsoft software developers are working on a fix to the program, but have yet released a timeline as to when they anticipate the problem to be resolved.
the bug is known as a "watering hole attack" where users are going to watering holes where hackers are analogous to lions stalking prey, in this case internet users, at the watering hole. The group exploiting the bug has identified themselves as 'Operation Clandestine Fox."
In the interim, Microsoft and Homeland Security personnel are advising people to double check their firewalls, update their anti virus software or use alternative browsers like Mozilla Fire Fox, an open source browser, Google Chrome, Safari or other browsers until this problem is resolved.