Microsoft releases Internet Explorer update to fix major security bug

Gap allowed attackers to take control of computers

LOS ANGELES - Microsoft has released a security update for Internet Explorer that closes a gap that allowed attackers to take complete control of a computer.

The company also issued the update to Windows XP users, despite dropping support for the older operating system last month.

The update went live at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Adrienne Hall, general manager of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, said in a statement that the company decided to fix the problem quickly for all customers, saying it takes the security of its products "incredibly seriously."

Microsoft reported the problem Saturday, saying it was aware of "limited, targeted attacks" and that the vulnerability affected Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11.

The company said users with automatic updates enabled don't need to take any action.

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