Feeds

IE7 'critical update' causes headaches for managed desktop environments

Switch to manual

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Many organisations use methods to keep a standard look and feel to their computer desktops, with branding, logos, default company websites as home pages and various rights and privilege settings. These "manageable computer desktops" have always been fairly easy to roll-out company-wide, and if any changes were made in a session, they are wiped when the next user logs on.

Recently, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7, the latest version of its web browser. Even more recently, it added it to the "critical updates" section of Windows Update. Many organisations, to keep their computers up-to-date and bug-free, allow these critical updates to be installed automatically overnight, with no user intervention.

Internet Explorer 7 is a nice update to IE6, enabling tabbed browsing, and introduces other features seen in other web browsers like Firefox and Opera. Typically, IE7 will overwrite IE6 as the default Microsoft browser.

The previous incarnation, IE6, was nicely integrated with managed desktop settings. It was very difficult to make any permanent changes to the home page. However, it appears that IE7 has forgotten its "managed" roots and allows users, by means of a few simple clicks, to permanently choose a home page of their choosing!

Now, this isn't a security threat of any sort, but for an organisation trying to keep the same branding company-wide, it can get difficult. As many organisations may not feel compelled to turn off automatic updates, they should be prepared to face this is issue when Internet Explorer 7 is downloaded and installed automatically.

For those organisations wishing to hold back a little further until these potential issues are sorted out by a later IE service pack (we are already on SP2) help is at hand from Microsoft. It has released a "Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 7" here. ®

Grigorios Fragkos and Huw Read are research students at the Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.