IE flaw: MEA experts speak out

Regional specialists clarify pitfalls, options for affected users, as Microsoft works on fix

Tags: AccessData Group LLC ( crimeUnited Arab Emirateshelp AG (
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IE flaw: MEA experts speak out The bug allows a machine to be compromised through execution of a Flash object.
By  Stephen McBride Published  May 1, 2014

This week both the US and UK governments issued warnings to users of Microsoft Internet Explorer to stop using the browser and switch to an alternative, in a rare move for Western powers.

The advisory was a clear indication of the perceived severity of the flaw among experts and authorities. The vulnerability is present in IE versions from 6 to 11 (an estimated 55% of PC browsers worldwide, and just above 12% in the UAE, according to figures from StatCounter) and concerns Flash execution.

Here in the UAE, spoke to regional cyber security specialists to get their views on what impact the flaw is having for users across the Gulf.

"[We have] concerns about those who abuse IT systems exploiting the flaw before Microsoft has released a fix," said Paul Wright, manager of professional services and investigation team, Middle East, India and Africa at AccessData.

"However due to the seriousness of the situation there can be no doubt that Microsoft and its partners are burning the midnight oil to produce a patch for this vulnerability."

But how long must users wait, running Enhanced Protection mode in IE (for the faithful) or using an alternative browser?

"As the issue has been identified to be present from version 6.0 it is most likely very embedded functionality that needs to change, and we may need to wait a bit of time before we have a real fix," said Nicolai Solling, director, Technology Services at Help AG.

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