Feeds

IE 'unsafe' for 284 days last year

Nine months gestation for 0-day exploits

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Using IE6 was "unsafe" 284 days last year even for users who patched their systems as soon as Microsoft released fixes. An analysis by the Washington Post's Brian Krebs revealed that exploit code for critical unpatched flaws in IE6 was available for three-quarters of the time last year.

Even worse, for at least 98 days last year no patches were available for flaws that were been actively exploited by hackers to steal personal data. Firefox users, by comparison, were exposed to critical, unpatched flaws that were actively exploited for just nine days last year. This single period of exposure compares to multiple overlapping periods of vulnerability faced by IE6 users.

IE7 promises improved security for surfers, at least in theory, but its release in November came too late in the year to significantly alter the threat landscape, Krebs notes.

Unpatched software vulnerabilities grew in prevalence last year and the problem is far from confined to Microsoft, still less IE, even though the software giant remains a prime target for attack. A helpful chart from the SANS Institute gives a snapshot of unpatched Microsoft bugs, three of the most serious of which involve vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word.

In related news, Microsoft announced that it would be releasing eight software fixes (three involving Office and at least one of which is critical) as part of its regular monthly patch update cycle next Tuesday (January 8). It remains to be seen whether these fixes will resolve the Word flaws, which have been left flapping since early December.®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.