Microsoft has issued a security alert to Windows users, warning that hackers have found and are currently exploiting a vulnerability in the operating system.
“Microsoft is investigating reports of a remote code execution vulnerability in MSHTML that affects Microsoft Windows,” the company reported. “Microsoft is aware of targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability by using specially-crafted Microsoft Office documents.”
The company said the hackers were likely to target victims through their use of Office documents. If users open a malicious document, they’ll end up with malware on their system.
The best way to protect yourself is to make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Microsoft said Microsoft Defender Antivirus and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint can effectively detect the vulnerability. Meanwhile, the company said it is investigating the source.
“Upon completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to help protect our customers,” the company said. “This may include providing a security update through our monthly release process or providing an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs.”
Krebs on Security, an authoritative security blog, reports Microsoft has not yet released a patch for the flaw, but it says users can mitigate the threat by disabling the installation of all ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer. Krebs says the vulnerability is currently being used in targeted attacks on both PCs and servers.