January 19, 2010

Is Internet Explorer unsafe?

TECHNOLOGY - German and French governments are recommending internet users don't use Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8 when using Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Why? Because IE has security flaws which leave it open to both hackers and viruses. Both governments are recommending people install a quality virus protection software and use an alternative browser like Firefox or Opera.

Microsoft however is very angry that the governments have come out and publicly encouraged people to choose a different internet browser. Microsoft spokesman Thomas Baumgaertner has disputed the advice, claiming "These were not attacks against general users or consumers."

Nevertheless, Microsoft also admitted in its own security advisory that it was “actively working with partners” to fix the problem. MS Internet Explorer is still used by approx. 66% of the global population, including many government computers and banks.

Last week hackers exploited weaknesses in Internet Explorer to launch a “highly sophisticated” attack on email users around the world, especially in China where the attack originated from.

The attack targeted the email addresses of activists promoting the truth about Tiananmen Square Massacre, China's military response to Tibet and a variety of other human rights abuses going on in China. Its believed the Chinese government perpetuated the hacker attack.

Google is now threatening to pullout its business from China because of the attack. In retaliation the Chinese government is now blocking Google China's internet access.

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