Microsoft has announced a zero-day vulnerability that affects its internet browser, Internet Explorer, versions 6, 7 and 8.  

Symantec explains in layman's terms this means "there's a hole in Internet Explorer which a cybercriminal can take advantage of by creating a malicious threat that targets anyone who is using the vulnerable browser and is not protected".

Linked to the attacks on Google, although those were of a more targeted nature than consumers will ever experience, the cyber crims have created a new Trojan that exploits the vulnerability, something that has led to the French and German governments advising not to use Internet Explorer.

Microsoft says: "The Internet Explorer team is hard at work preparing a comprehensive security update to address the vulnerability and the MSRC announced today that as soon as the update is ready for broad distribution, it will be released".

Symantec's advice is to stay on top of security patches whichever software you use and to get some robust security software, such as its own Norton Internet Security suite.