Security experts today warned of a new attack targeting Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser. A press release by Joshua Smug of Kaspersky Labs described this as one of the most serious vulnerabilities yet discovered.
"This attack works by presenting the user with a seemingly innocuous website," Smug claimed, "but when users navigate to the page, they are instead presented with instructions to format the computer's hard disk before covering it with gasoline and setting fire to it. The instructions then tell them to pass on the web address of the page to all their friends. Users who inadvertently follow the instructions end up with a non-functional computer and data recovery is close to impossible."
Dubbed "the retard worm", this attack has been assigned the highest threat rating. Although predominantly focused on users of Internet Explorer, the attack, classified as a "Trojan Horse" can also affect other browsers and platforms. Microsoft is expected to release a patch in the next couple of days, but Smug is doubtful that they can fix it quickly.
"This vulnerability lies right in the heart of Internet Explorer's web processing model," he explained, "it will be very difficult to plug the hole without seriously affecting other functionality."