Microsoft fixes hacking problem for Internet Explorer

May 1
CYBERSECURITY
Microsoft fixes IE hacking problem

Microsoft released a security update for its Internet Explorer browser Thursday to fix a bug that allowed hackers to take over a computer.

The tech company said it will be releasing a similar update for Windows XP, even though it dropped support for the 12-year-old operating system last month. Users who have automatic updates enabled should not have to take any action, Microsoft said.

Microsoft notified users over the weekend about the bug, which affects those using IE versions 6 through 11. Hackers could exploit the bug to trick users into opening an infected link or file attachment. Cybersecurity firm FireEye said about a quarter of worldwide Internet users were potentially affected by the bug.

In an advisory posted to its Security TechCenter, Microsoft acknowledged that it was aware of “limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit” the bug. The Department of Homeland Security issued a rare warning about the security flaw Monday, recommending that users apply Microsoft’s mitigation tool kit or try another Web browser until the problem was fixed.

— Andrea Peterson

ALSO IN BUSINESS

As the Federal Reserve works to ensure that the nation’s largest banks pose no undue threats to the financial system, it will avoid imposing unnecessary rules on small banks, Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen said. In a speech to community bankers, Yellen said the Fed will consider any harmful effects that new regulations would have on smaller institutions.

The Baltimore Sun Media Group, which publishes the Baltimore Sun and is owned by Tribune Co., said it has bought two other Maryland newspapers, the Capital in Annapolis and the Carroll County Times, as well as their associated publications and Web sites. The deal’s financial terms were not disclosed. The Capital has a daily circulation of about 33,000 while the Carroll County Times has a daily circulation of about 24,000.

U.S. car buyers came out of hibernation in April to spend on pickup trucks and SUVs, fueling a rebound in auto sales. Total sales grew to just under 1.4 million cars and trucks, up about 8 percent from a year ago. Sales ran at an annual rate of just over 16 million, according to Auto­data. Nissan led the way with an 18.3 percent increase over a year ago. Chrysler posted a 14 percent gain. Toyota sales grew by 13 percent. General Motors, which has suffered from the bad publicity of safety recalls, posted a 7 percent gain.

Amazon tweaked its same-day delivery service, bringing it to two more cities, cutting one and changing the deadline to qualify for the service in some metropolitan areas. Amazon added Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco to the service, bringing the total number of cities to 12. Las Vegas, where the service was introduced in 2009, was removed from the list. Same-day delivery lets shoppers who make pur­chases by a local cutoff time choose to have them delivered by 9 p.m. on the same day.

A group of transportation activists have filed a lawsuit against San Francisco seeking to block commuter shuttles — used by Google, Apple and other tech companies — from using Municipal Railway bus stops, a practice that has sparked protests by residents. The group, a coalition including Service Employees International Union Local 1021, sued over concerns that the shuttles have caused an influx of highly paid workers into the city, driving up housing costs.

First-time unemployment claims surprisingly jumped last week to a two-month high of 344,000. The number of people filing for initial jobless benefits was up from the previous week’s revised figure of 330,000, the Labor Department said.

Honda is recalling 24,889 Odyssey minivans from the 2014 model year because their side air bags may not deploy during a crash. Honda said a shorting terminal, which prevents deployment of the air bag before it is put into the vehicle, may have been damaged during the assembly process. That may prevent the side-curtain air bags from deploying.

— From staff reports
and news services

COMING TODAY

8:30 a.m.: April jobs report.

Earnings: Berkshire Hathaway, Chevron, CVS Caremark.

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