Internet Explorer, Microsoft Windows XP

Hackers Use Windows XP F1 Key To Hack PC

How many times you have been press F1 key on your keyboard to find out the Help topics? Frankly speaking, Windows XP F1 key is very useful in providing assistance or help to solve minor PC problem.

What is the F1 key?
F1 is one of the 12 function keys (F1 – F12) on a regular keyboard, typically located in the top row of keys. Function keys allow users to reach certain functions in an application by pressing only a single key on the keyboard. In most applications, F1 would bring up the help function and many users are familiar with instructions such as “Press F1 for help“.

Anyway, Microsoft has warned about a risk involving any version of Internet Explorer on Windows 2000 and Windows XP just by hitting F1 key. Hacker will attack the PC by displaying a dialog box that asked you to press F1 key. The attack could originated from a web page, HTML email or email attachments. Hacker will input some malicious web sites to infiltrate your PC.

Let me just assume that the hacker successfully exploited your PC. He/she can gain same user rights as a logged-on user. If the hacker is logged on with administrator rights, he/she can install programs or modify and delete data from your PC.

How To Prevent Your PC From Exploitation by Hacker ?

1. Avoid pressing F1 key by web pages and other internet content. If a dialog box appears repeatedly in an attempt to convince the user to press F1, users may log off the system or use Task Manager to terminate the Internet Explorer process.

2. Switch to use Mozilla Firefox as primary browser. I have been using it for a long time and very satisfy with its performance and reliability. Highly recommended.

3. Protect your PC by changing IE intranet security zone settings to “High” in order to block ActiveX controls or Active Scripting in these zones.

To raise the browsing security level in Internet Explorer, follow these steps:

1. On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.

2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click the Internet icon.

3. Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all web sites you visit to High.


Be a smart computer user and don’t simply pressing the F1 key because if you do not press F1 Key, the risk of  exploitation will be greatly reduced.

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  • Reply Loxlee June 4, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I know how to fix it….get a mac

  • Reply Nichole July 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I had no idea about this! Thank you very much for the warning. I will be more cautious in the future.
    .-= Nichole´s last blog ..Youtube to Mp3 =-.

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