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Microsoft will release an emergency patch today to fix a flaw that would allow hackers to hijack Internet explorer and take over computers.

More info here:

The US software giant said on Tuesday that in response to "the threat to customers" it immediately mobilized security engineering teams worldwide to deliver a software cure "in the unprecedented time of eight days."

According to researchers at software security firm Trend Micro, attacks based on the vulnerability in the world's most popular Web browser are spreading "like wildfire" with millions of computers already compromised.

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"When the patch is released people should run, not walk, to get it installed," said Trend Micro advanced threat researcher Paul Ferguson.

Trend Micro has identified about 10,000 websites that have been infected with malicious software that can be surreptitiously slipped into visitors' unprotected IE browsers to take advantage of the flaw.

A major Internet portal in Taiwan is among the legitimate websites unknowingly tainted with malicious software aimed at IE's weak spot, according to Ferguson.

Hackers can take control of infected computers, steal data, redirect browsers to dubious websites, and use machines for devious activities such as attacks on other networks, according to security specialists. [Source Yahoo.com]

 

Microsoft said it "will ship a security update, rated "critical," for the browser on Wednesday. People with the Windows Update feature activated on their computers will get the patch automatically." [Source: Yahoo News]

The security flaw has been seen in Internet Explorer 7, but Microsoft warns that other versions of the browser are also vulnerable.

Personally, I use Mozilla's Firefox browser. No browser is completely safe, and Firefox is not without its flaws, but I prefer using it over IE.

What browser do you use?