As promised, Microsoft has released an out-of-bound patch for Internet Explorer which is meant to address a security vulnerability exploited earlier this month in a series of targeted and sophisticated attacks against Google and other companies. The patch has been made available through Microsoft's website and Windows Update.

A blog post at Microsoft's TechNet site emphasizes that only IE 6 can get taken out by the exploit and recommends upgrading to the newer IE 8. Meanwhile, government agencies in countries such as France and Germany have opted for urging users to switch to alternative browsers -- at least temporarily. This is certainly not the first time Internet Explorer has suffered security issues but the circumstances have made this latest flaw especially high-profile. Details on the nature of the risk are detailed in Microsoft's Security Bulletin.

The update is rated critical for all supported releases of Internet Explorer. You can find the appropriate download links for each browser release and Windows version after the jump. (Via

Windows Desktop downloads:

Windows Server downloads: