Goverment Recommends “Use a Different Browser” to Combat Internet Explorer’s Security Vulnerabilities

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In a move which surely can’t make Microsoft happy, no less an authority than US-CERT (the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) has recommended that one way to deal with the security holes in IE is to “use a different web browser”.

In its notice, published this week and entitled “Vulnerability Note VU#713878: Microsoft Internet Explorer does not properly validate source of redirected frame”, CERT observes that there are “a number of significant vulnerabilities in technologies relating to the IE domain/zone security model, the DHTML object model, MIME type determination, and ActiveX.”

CERT then goes on to recommended that one way to deal with the issue of IE’s lack of security is to “use a different browser”.

Well, yes.

Now we just have to convince web developers to stop building sites exclusively for IE.

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13 thoughts on “Goverment Recommends “Use a Different Browser” to Combat Internet Explorer’s Security Vulnerabilities

  1. How dare any government or non government organization suggest changing your web browser?!
    God^H^H^HMicrosoft made IE for the good of mankind and if people use something ‘supposedly’ more secure what will become of the American way of life? Thousands of employees of those web design companys will be unemployable, spam won’t get through to those who need it. Thinks of the chaos that would come to the internet if people had to rethink their marketing strategies.
    Good Lord! People might want some substance or product instead of valuable advertising information!

  2. 7/9/04 – 4:55 pm MST

    it ain’t the whole story. 1) I use firefox since a bunch but if i use it to update the OS, the frikin refuses the connection – 2) on my machine firefox is defined default browser, but if i should send email from messenger, it launchs iexplorer. – itz called abuse of dominant position: so i think the true fascist are @MS

    — briosky

  3. The Microsoft products I use, I use because I choose to. You, the Merciless, have chosen to use other products. That does not make me a “sucker”, it simply means we, as individuals, have different preferences. I happen to remember the days before Windows 3.1 arrived and there were no shared drivers, multitasking apps, or any of the other things we all take for granted now, and I would not want to go back to the way things were back then. I have recently started using FireFox and I like it. For those looking for an IE alternative, it works pretty well.

  4. You are quite correct. The makers of Avant Browser claim “Full IE Compatibility” – I would read that “Compatible incl. the vulnerabilities,” which is IMHO not very secure;-) Tried it (for approx. 1 day) when I was migrating from IE, but dumped it for Opera after realizing it wast just another IE add-on.

  5. Why should Redmond change anything they do? You still use Windoze, don’t you? THAT is what they got their money from, not IE. You still buy your PCs from a vendor that pays Redmond for every unit they ship, don’t you? You still use M$ Office, right? So why does Redmond have any incentive to change?

    Until you throw out ALL of their dubious warez, and loudly take your hardware business to a vendor that doesn’t pay protection money to Redmond, and *actively* convince others to do the same, they have absolutely no incentive to change, because suckers keep paying they good money for crappy software.

  6. As it happens the Department of Homeland Security (aka Fascists ‘R’ Us), which IS a government agency, made the same recommendation.

  7. I’m now using the Avant browser, which to my non-tech eyes seems to be Internet Explorer with some kind of protections on it. Has anyone had experience with this browser? Is it comparably secure to Firefox?

  8. I have shifted to Firefox long time ago, and waiting always for the newer versions. I like the plugins and the simplicity of the program, not to mention there are no adware/spywares… .
    IE is far too full of holes to fix it, may be Microsoft should reinvent another browser from the ground up!!

  9. I had been an IE user for many years, that is until I started having to use so many seperate utilites to get rid of spyware, adware and other damaging programs that IE seemed unable to stop. Several weeks ago I installed Firefox and have not had a single instance of the above mentioned problems. I am still a great fan of Microsoft products but no longer an IE user.

  10. I too was “forced” to go to firefox—-and I couldn’t be happier. Minor(sic) advantages such as faster load times and increased security,not to mention the elimination of spyware which seemed to find it’s way into my system with IE has abruptly halted( ever hear of avenue a)and no patches every other week. hooray!

  11. I have used the windows environment for quite some time and have tried to deal with all the problems of crashes and particularly the error messages that keep popping up every so often, that I too have made the transition from IE to FireFox. Perhaps now Redmond will be listen to their customers and create a browser (and other software) that will behave as they ought to from the start.

  12. US-CERT is not a government entity. Stating that “The Government” recommends using a different browser is incorrect reporting. US-CERT (which has many subsidiary groups) is “US-CERT is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the public and private sectors. Established to protect the nation’s Internet infrastructure, US-CERT coordinates defense against and responses to cyber attacks across the nation. ”

  13. I refuse to build sites exclusively for IE and haven’t for well over a year now. In fact, when designing websites according to W3C standards, it is far easier to develop for Mozilla and other browsers first, and then apply the IE fixes afterwards.

    The main problem for web design nowadays is the fact that the majority of ‘web design companies’ are really ‘magazine and other media designers’ who have found the web to be a particularily good money-spinner. They design their clients sites according to graphic-designers idea’s and ignore the fact that the Web is an entirely different media than anything that came before it.

    At least it gives complaint designers plenty of work in the future when these sites start breaking. =)

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