Users of Internet Explorer have been warned to stop using it and switch to Mozilla Firefox or Opera. Merely visiting the wrong site can infect your computer.
The flaw in IE allows criminals to gain control of computers that have visited a website infected with malicious code designed to exploit it. While restricting web surfing to trusted sites should reduce the risk of infection, the malicious code can be injected into any website. Users do not have to click or download anything to become infected, merely visiting an infected website is sufficient.
Antivirus software specialists Trend Micro believe as many as 10,000 sites have been hacked to exploit the flaw. Sites that have been compromised so far, however, are mostly Chinese and the attackers seem intent on stealing people’s computer game passwords in order to sell them on the black market rather than looking for personal details such as bank accounts.
It is known as a “zero-day” attack because it exploits a security vulnerability on the same day that the vulnerability became generally known.