September 18, 2012 | Mac Bartine

A Solution to the IE "Poison Ivy" Security Threat

IE malware attack screenshot

We have an IE security threat solution for you. But first, the background:

Metasploit shared yesterday that Internet Explorer versions 7, 8 and 9, when being used on Windows machines running XP, Vista and Windows 7, are vulnerable to attack using a "zero day" exploit by the malware program known as Poison Ivy. The screenshot they provided above shows a successful attack on a Windows 7 machine running Internet Explorer 9.

You can get infected with the Poison Ivy malware package by simply visiting the wrong site, after which the person who loaded the malware on your machine will have the same control of it as you have. Uh oh. According to Metasploit, up to 41% of IE users are vulnerable to the attack.

The IE Security Threat Solution

So what do you do to avoid this threat if you're using IE? Simple: stop using IE, at least until the security hole has been plugged. VIEO recommends Chrome or FireFox, though Chrome is my personal favorite (I think it's faster and a cleaner design).

OK, OK, I know it's lame to call "stop using IE" a solution to avoiding an IE vulnerability. But it's an effective one all the same. More over, I think you'll find other browsers to be easier to use than you expect - you might even decide that you LIKE your new browser.

And of course, make sure you're backing up your machine on a regular basis, and using antivirus with a firewall. That won't protect you against this and some other attacks, but it definitely is better than not using these precautions. Finally, don't click on unexpected links from friends unless you verify that they were sent intentionally, and don't visit websites that you aren't familiar with or sure that they're completely above board.

Be careful out there.

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Mac Bartine

Mac Bartine

As one of VIEO Design’s four owners, Mac Bartine served as our COO and web strategist until July 2014. Today, he advises VIEO as a partner and uses his considerable skill as a digital strategist in his positions as CEO of several startups.

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