IE Flaw Remains Unpatched
- By Scott Bekker
- January 20, 2004
The third installment of Microsoft's monthly patch roundups came and went last week with three new security bulletins but without a fix for a well-known Internet Explorer vulnerability.
Microsoft is aware of a major problem in Internet Explorer that involves spoofed Web site addresses and provides the technical foundation for several so-called phishing scams. These scams involve an e-mail instructing a user to "re-enter" or otherwise divulge banking, credit card information or personal financial information. Some phishing scams in wide circulation use spoofed e-mail addresses that make it appear that users are being sent to sites of legitimate institutions such as Barclays or Citibank.
Microsoft continues to point users concerned about the problem to a Web page originally posted in December. That page is available here: support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;[ln];833786.
The Microsoft page lists a series of steps to make sure that a site is not being spoofed until Microsoft completes a fix for the problem. Among the recommendations are running a Java script or checking digital certificates. However, the steps are fairly technical for non-IT end users. A better course of action for those users might be an e-mail reminder alerting them that phishing scams are in circulation and that they should be even more suspicious than usual of organizations seeking financial information from them via e-mail.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.