Microsoft rarely mentions Internet Explorer (IE) anymore, but when it does, it usually means bad news.

So it was Wednesday, when Microsoft issued a rare emergency security update to plug a critical vulnerability in the still-supported IE9, IE10 and IE11. The flaw was reported to Microsoft by Google security engineer Clement Lecigne.

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According to Microsoft, attackers are already exploiting the vulnerability, making it a classic "zero-day" bug. Because of that, the company released a fix before the next round of security updates scheduled for Jan. 8.

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