Warning: Why experts say you should stop using Internet Explorer right now
NEW YORK (WGN-TV) – If you’re using Internet Explorer, experts say you are at risk.
Microsoft is racing to address a weakness that was discovered over the weekend in its popular browser.
Researchers at FireEye say hackers have exploited a bug and created a new type of attack.
This hack is being described as a “zero-day,” which is a never-before-seen technique.
Experts say hackers set up a website that installs malware when you visit it.
If you’re tricked into visiting the site while using Internet Explorer, malware seeps into your computer and gives the hacker total control.
In fact, you may not even notice your computer has been hijacked.
“I’d say someone taking control of your computer is just the beginning of the worst case scenario,” said Adrian Sanabria, a security expert with 451research.com. “Because then they steal your info, get access to your email, etc.”
Officials say anyone in control of your computer can spy on everything you do.
It is worse for those using Windows XP because Microsoft no longer supports that operating system with security patches.
It affects every version of Internet Explorer, which is more than half of the browsers in use right now, according to NetMarketShare.
Microsoft officials are telling those customers to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
Since the attack relies on extra features, officials say you can just disable them to protect yourself.
FireEye says users should disable the Adobe Flash plugin.
While Microsoft works on patching the bug, engineers suggest running your browser in “Enhanced Protect Mode.”
However, computer experts say that will likely ruin your online experience.
The attack does not affect other web browsers.