Update: Microsoft has added the patch to Windows Update which means that all users of the operating system who use the service should have it installed by now. It is not an issue in newer versions of windows that came out after the patch was discovered.
Microsoft has released a security patch for Internet Explorer that fixes a critical issue in the web browser. The emergency patch for the Internet Explorer web browser has been uploaded to various Microsoft properties but is not yet available via Windows Update.
The patch fixes a vulnerability that has been exploited in recent time, and is currently considered such a severe security risk that some governments recommended switching from Internet Explorer to other web browsers to protect computer systems against attacks.
The vulnerability has also been used in an attack earlier this month on several popular US companies including Google and Adobe. The patch does not seem to have been made available via Windows Update yet but it is available for download and it is highly suggested to download it as soon as possible. This is likely to happen in the next couple of hours.
The patch should be installed on Windows devices even if Internet Explorer is not used for browsing as Internet Explorer's rendering engine may be used by third-party programs.
Windows users are encouraged to download the patch from the appropriate support pages to close the vulnerability in their computer system.
Users with Internet Explorer 6, Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 can find the whole list of patches at Bink.nu. Internet Explorer 6 and IE 7 users should also consider updating their web browser to Internet Explorer 8 if possible.
Update 2: Additional information about the vulnerability are available on Microsoft's Knowledgebase.
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