The german government urges residents to abandon Internet Explorer and Microsoft scrambles to find a fix.

Late Sep. 17, 2012, Microsoft detected a bug in its Internet Explorer 9 browser. The bug could make users’ computers vulnerable to cyber attacks and viruses. Because Internet Explorer 9 is one of the most popular browsers around, this new bug affects hundreds of millions of people.

According to, consumers have been advised to install free security software as a way to fix the bug. People should be careful about which free security software they decide to download because sometimes “freeware” comes with its own set of bugs.

All security settings on users’ computers should be set to high, blocking ActiveX Controls and Active Scriptings. Those who want to stay up to date with what’s going on can visit the Microsoft Security Response Center blog or follow @MSFTSECResponse on Twitter.

Naturally, hackers have tried to exploit this glitch, but so far, no serious breaches or other attacks have been reported. People can continue to use the Internet and visit websites as always.

According to Microsoft, on Sept. 21, 2012, “we will release a cumulative update for Internet Explorer through Windows Update and our other standard distribution channels.  We recommend that you install this update as soon as it is available. If you have automatic updates enabled on our PC, you won’t need to take any action – it will automatically be updated on your machine.  This will not only reinforce the issue that the Fix It addressed, but cover other issues as well.”

In the meantime, browse carefully.

Note:  Microsoft now says fix available