Microsoft Corp., the worlds largest software vendor, issued an emergency patch for its flawed Internet Explorer on Tuesday, patching a serious hole that could allow for remote access to a compromised computer.

The Redmond Wash.-based software firm typically releases patches at the end of each month, aggregating fixes gathered over the previous 30 days, and announcing fixes through its Windows Update platform. This time, however, the flaw became well know, giving rise to a large number of malicious websites taking advantage of unsuspecting users.

Microsoft's patch comes a day after a private group of security experts developed their own patch.

The patch fixes a problem in Microsoft's handling of vector markup language (VML), or a format used for drawing graphics. Microsoft's Outlook e-mail client is also potentially vulnerable for this exploit, experts say.

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