Governments advise that you don't use Internet Explorer

19 January 2010

A couple of years ago, PC World rated Internet Explorer the eighth worst tech product of all time. Most complaints around the various releases of the product focus on the gaping security holes and Microsoft's apparent complacency when it comes to patching things up. It's this reason that the past 3 or 4 years has seen a spike in use of the open source alternative Mozilla Firefox.

So far, it's been pretty word-of-mouth... that is, until now, where governments are actually advising that you don't bother with it because it's a bit pile of shit.

Over in Australia, people are being advised against using IE because of a security threat. The official line from down-under is to download security patches or switch to something else. France and German officials are being less kind, issuing warnings against all versions of Microsoft's browser.

Germany warned users last Friday after a malicious code was published online, and now Certa, a French Government agency that oversees cyber threats, has warned against using all recent versions of the web browser.

This threat, implicated in the recent attacks on Google, were designed specifically to exploit Internet Explorer 6. Microsoft said it has only seen a "very limited number of targeted attacks against a small subset of corporations".

"The attacks that we have seen to date are only effective against Internet Explorer 6.  We are not seeing any widespread attacks and thus far we are not seeing attacks focused on consumers."

Microsoft suggest that the problem could be solved by updating to IE8. Sadly, they're not acknowledging that the upgrade is just another browser that's vulnerable and has more hole than a tramp's sock. It took 5 years for Microsoft to update IE6 to IE7, so the news that they're working on a permanent solution shouldn't fill you with overwhelming confidence.

Naturally, all browsers are prone to security cock-ups, but it's fair to say the IE is breached the most. For now, while Microsoft is seen as 'The Man', it'll continue to get hammered by hackers. Google will probably be the next on the hit list. Regardless of which service you use, it's still a good idea to stock up on security. By which I mean, loads of things that check of bad shit in your computer, rather than a cupboard full of weapons.



  • Nobby
    As you say, people will always attack The Man. Google next, BW in 2055.
  • diGriz
    Disabling windows updates several years ago was the best thing I ever did to my PC. And Firefox is a much better system as a browser. Stuck with IE at work and hate it, Firefox Portable on a usb stick does the job though.
  • myiphoneisbroken
    I've been a firefox convert for a fair while now and have never gone back. Its just so easy to use, and not half as slow as IE.
  • AK
    Google Chrome is the way forward at the moment. I stopped using IE many years ago and took up Firefox which was fantastic, however Firefox has become bloated as does most successful software (look at Norton antivirus and Nero for example). The problem is hackers will turn their attentions to the most used browser and most vulnerable users which is IE as it comes preinstalled on most machines. I'm sure this will change as more migrate to other browsers. I'm not sure if this is the reason Windows PC's are also targeted much more than the Mac.
  • dunfyboy
    Shame our own government only uses Internet Explorer (and IE 6 at that)
  • Jase
    Google Chrome for browsing, Firefox for web development...use IETester to check it doesn't break in IE6, 7 & 8. And btw, Cliff Evans (a Microsoft rep trying to save the sinking ship that is IE) is actually trying to suggest that IE8 is better in security than other browsers (specifically Firefox and Chrome)...(very end of video):
  • Wibble
    A couple of years ago, PC World rated Internet Explorer the eighth worst tech product of all time. ...and the seven above it were all services offered by PC World....* *although I suspect you are referring to the American magazine of the same name and not the shop staffed by spotty wankers who don't even know which hole to shit out of.....
  • Xaero
    IE should have been extinct years ago. Firefox showed the way how things can be way better, and Chrome just beat all records. Except using Firefox for Development, I use Chrome. Benchmarks show that the javascript processing time in Chrome : Firefox : IE7 is 1 : 10 : 100. IE sucks, and who would know better than a developer on IE.
  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian. I don't use IE, but i use Firefox to surf for porn (mostly lezzy)
  • Don't C.
    [...] Firefox ( fantastic ) PC World rated Internet Explorer the eighth worst tech product of all time. Governments advise that you don’t use Internet Explorer | BitterWallet BBC News - France joins Germany warning against Internet Explorer (__/) | Join CE! ||My [...]

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