Windows users warned of infectious Web sites that take over computers; Mac users unaffected

“Security researchers warned Web surfers on Thursday to be on guard after uncovering evidence that widespread Web server compromises have turned corporate home pages into points of digital infection,” Robert Lemos reports for CNET News.

“The researchers believe that online organized crime groups are breaking into Web servers and surreptitiously inserting code that takes advantage of two flaws in Internet Explorer that Microsoft has not yet fixed. Those flaws allow the Web server to install a program that takes control of the user’s computer,” Lemos reports.

“The extent of the attacks is unknown, but the security community has seen numerous cases of personal computers infected when the user merely visits a Web site. ‘It is not epidemic, but it is being seen,’ said Alfred Huger, senior director of engineering for security company Symantec. ‘Do we think it is serious? Yeah. It’s a concern and it’s insidious.’ …the flaws affect every user of Internet Explorer, because Microsoft has not yet released a patch. Moreover, the infectious Web sites are not just those of minor companies inhabiting the backwaters of the Web, but major companies, including some banks, said Brent Houlahan, chief technology officer of NetSec,” Lemos reports.

“Meanwhile, the average Internet surfer is left with few options. Windows users could download an alternate browser, such as Mozilla or Opera, and Mac users are not in danger,” Lemos reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The fun continues for our long-suffering Windows brethren. Mac users, happy surfing!

Related MacDailyNews article:
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004

25 Comments

  1. aw look at me i am a thick idiot and dont know anything aw look at that i am a sheep as well all my friends got windowz and they say its safe and i must buy it because my frends got it, please some one help me to get brains.

    thank you

    ps I AM AN IDIOT

  2. Sputnik, I am sure that your IT department knows what they are talking about. After all, they are trained professionals. Continue surfing in safety. Take comfort in the safety and security of the Microsoft operating system, Internet Explorer, and all of the other fine Microsoft products. Your IT people are probably well trained and certified in every aspect of — Microsoft and their products. Their jobs are important to them and they will only give you their best advice.

    I admit that I will personally stay with the beauty and security of the Mac, but I’m sure we are all happy that you passed on your IT department’s reassurances to us.

    Stay well.

  3. The best section out of the article was this:

    “Meanwhile, the average Internet surfer is left with few options. Windows users could download an alternate browser, such as Mozilla or Opera, and Mac users are not in danger.

    NetSec’s Houlahan advocated drastic action.

    “I told my wife, unless it is absolutely necessary and unless you are going to a site like our banking site, stay off the Internet right now,” he said.”

    Yeah, spend a few bucks less on a computer that you shouldn’t be using on the internet. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Hey Joe Mc, are you out there, or are you afraid to get on the ‘net today because of this? I am asking you because you always complain about the initial cost of Macs and I often advocate them because of “total cost of ownership”. So how much of a price do you put on the cost of constant concerns like this?

    Happy Friday!

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