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China slams Clinton’s remarks  

The first widespread attack to leverage a recently patched flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser has surfaced.

Late Wednesday, researchers at antivirus vendor Symantec began spotting dozens of Web sites that contain the Internet Explorer attack, which works reliably on the IE 6 browser running on Windows XP.

The attack installs a Trojan horse program that is able to bypass some security products and then give hackers access to the system.

The IE flaw being exploited in these attacks was used to hack into Google’s corporate network last December, and has been linked to similar incidents at 33 other companies.

Microsoft patched the vulnerability in an emergency security update Thursday morning.

Google’s revenue and profit grew in the fourth quarter, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations. Two-thirds of the company’s revenue came from its own sites, with a further third from its ad-network partner sites.

The number of revenue-generating clicks on Google’s ads rose by 13 percent, while the average value of those clicks rose by 5 percent. The company is sitting on a cash pile of almost 25 billion dollars.

AMD returned to profitability for the first time in three years in the fourth quarter, benefiting from a legal settlement with Intel and a change in its business model.

It reported net income of 1.2 billion dollars, compared to a loss of 1.4 billion a year earlier. Revenue of 1.7 billion dollars was driven by a healthy holiday sales period for PCs containing AMD chips and increased demand for its ATI Radeon graphics cards.

The company also shipped a record number of laptop processors and chipsets during the fourth quarter.

China has slammed remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promoting worldwide Internet freedom, saying her words harmed relations between the two countries.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Friday that it is not true that the country restricts online freedom.

Clinton’s speech and China’s response follow Google’s announcement last week that it plans to end government-ordered censorship of its Chinese search engine, and may be forced to close its offices in China as a result.

China already blocks Web sites including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and has long forced domestic Internet companies to censor their own services.

And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Peter Sayer in Paris. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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