DENVER -- A warning for Internet users: this is a serious enough security flaw that the Department of Homeland Security is warning you to not use Internet Explorer until a fix is found.
The problem could put your personal information at risk, and give hackers access to private things like your email accounts.
With so many computer bugs out there, Internet users rely heavily on anti-virus software and patches to keep up with each new virus. This time, that’s not good enough.
Charles Tendell is a Certified Ethical Hacker with Azorian Cyber Security in Monument. He said, “Up to this point, there’s no way to stop it.”
He says this particular bug attacks people using Microsoft Explorer’s web browser to get online. “It’s kinds of an age old, you know, statement for anyone in the computer world, don't use Internet Exploder,” he joked.
Tendell says if you’re using a different web browser, like Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox, you’re fine. But if you’re using Internet Explorer, especially if you’re still running Windows XP, you are vulnerable.
“If you're running Internet Explorer and you're on Windows XP, you're going to get hit with this,” he said.
Just made public Monday, most people still hadn’t heard about it. But most, like Michelle Rodriguez, use other browsers, at least at home. “At home I use Chrome, but at work I usually use Internet Explorer.”
The same for Sara Corbitt. She only uses Explorer at work. “We get memos pretty quickly after they come out, on our server so I wouldn't be surprised if there was something tomorrow,” Corbitt said.
Luis Soto added, “At this time I think people are probably asking how is this going to affect business?"
Tendell says there is no way to know if you’ve been hit, and if you’re already infected, switching browsers now, won’t help because the hacker is already in.
However, just because you have Internet Explorer doesn’t mean you’re infected. You’d have to visit a malicious site or link.
Microsoft is scrambling to put a fix in place.