internet explorer security patch

Yesterday sparked an unprecedented rush to fix browser security issues. With the announcement of Internet Explorer’s security flaws, both Microsoft and Mozilla have released fixes for their respective browsers. The fixes for both Internet Explorer and FireFox are available now.

Less than 24 hours after news was released about security issues with Internet Explorer, Microsoft has released a hack patch for the security flaw that affects all versions of IE version 5 to 8 beta. According to Microsoft, there was not a security patch due out until January 13, 2009, but with the recent announcement and the push for users to switch browsers, Microsoft opted to push the release today.

To update your Internet Explorer all you need to do is simply visit the Microsoft update center, run the check for updates, and it will show up as a high priority update labeled “Security Update for Internet Explorer (your version number)”. You can either install express or custom, but it is recommended that your antivirus software also be checked and updated and full scan be run to ensure that no breaches occurred.

Mozilla has also released a group of fixes for their FireFox browser. These updates come at a time when neither party wants bad publicity, largely due to the heavy competition between the two browsers. FireFox 3.0.5 and are both available for Windows and Linux now. The update to 3.0.5 fixes 3 major XSS issues including crashes with evidence of memory corruption. These issues have been labeled critical on top of five other minor security fixes.

As for FireFox 2.x, the patch fixes 10 issues, four of which are critical. These vulnerabilities are again tied to XSS issues, but these fixes also address an issue related to additional XSS attack vectors in feed preview. The bad news for FireFox 2.x users is that after this update there will be no further support for 2.x. Mozilla urges FF users to upgrade to 3.x as soon as possible. Updating your version should happen automatically when you log in to your browser. If it does not, under "Help" in your menu there is an option to check for updates. You can upgrade your version from FireFox 2.x to 3.0.5 here.

So whether you are an Internet Explorer die-hard or a FireFox advocate, both browsers have acknowledged severe security vulnerabilities. It is urged that you update your browser.