Incase you see a red icon with a cross on it which has suddenly landed on your system tray to keep popping up every 2 secs and leave you all frustrated because there is very little you can do about it, it is a Microsoft bug. The message tells something like this: "Click here to protect your computer from spyware!" Your computer is infected! Windows has detected spyware infection! It is recommended to use special antispyware tools to prevent data loss. Windows will now download and install the most up-to-date antispyware for you.The wallpaper might go off and your desktop might take this scary look:
And the worst comes, when you try to open an application to rectify this error message and nothing on your computer seems to work. Everytime you attempt to open an application, you get a warning message saying: "Application cannot be executed. The file is infected. Please activate your antivirus software."
According to reports that have appeared in international publications like theregister.co.uk, computerworld.com and darkreading.com among others, though Microsoft was made aware of a flaw behind a widespread IE bug, the company has done precious little about it. Typically, Microsoft has something called Patch Tuesday, when it sends out bug fixes to all computers, which use auto update to patch computers. Patch Tuesday is the second Tuesday of each month, the day on which Microsoft releases security patches. According to theregister.co.uk, Microsoft was alerted about this flaw around April or May of 2008. This means that over a dozen Patch Tuesdays have come and gone, and Microsoft has not done anything about it. Many users, faced with this attitude, may want to give up on IE and choose some alternatives. In fact, it looks like this is already happening—according to statcounter.com, in 2008, IE had over 67 per cent market share, while Firefox had just over 25 per cent. This year (that is, the first 190 days of 2009), IE has slipped below 63 per cent, while Firefox has risen above 29 per cent. According to Microsoft Security Advisory (972890), Microsoft is investigating a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Video ActiveX Control. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. When using Internet Explorer, code execution is remote and may not require any user intervention. The only option left with us at present is to avoid using IE8, till Microsoft comes out with a patch for this bug which leaves you with no other option but to format your computer!