Feeds

British government ignores MS browser fears

France, Germany line up to bash Internet Explorer

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

France and Germany have already told their citizens to avoid Microsoft's Internet Explorer because of a critical hole in the browser, so what does the British government think?

The problem emerged late last week and both governments reacted with a simple warning - use another browser until this is fixed.

Three days later and still no response from the British government. We're still waiting to hear back from Lord Mandy's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The weakness is in older versions of Internet Explorer like 6 and 7 which were running Windows XP SP3. The code has now been released making it fairly simple for an attacker to exploit the hole.

Microsoft confirmed that the hole was used in the attacks against Google and 33 other companies believed to come from China.

At its most extreme it would let an attacker run code on your machine.

If you don't want to ditch IE altogether then at least running it in safe mode, with ActiveX and JavaScript turned off, will reduce the dangers.

Internet Explorer is the default browser on government computers. It would be a big job for them to all be changed overnight, but surely the government could offer some advice on keeping the rest of us safe?

The gaping hole might seem like bad news for Microsoft, but most IE users will probably remain unaware of the problem. If enough of them do notice then it might provide a bit of a boost for Firefox and Google's Chrome - currently being heavily advertised in the UK.

Microsoft is still working on plugging the hole which, so far at least, has been used to target corporations rather than individuals. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.