Internet Explorer Explodes Again!
There is a vulnerability in the XML core of IE that has been exploited. There currently is not an update available from Microsoft.
Since the last time I wrote on Internet Explorer it was the most common web browser used. Because of the rise of MAC computers and users liking the features and possibly security of other browsers the popularity of Internet Explorer as a browser has decreased tremendously. (In 2009, Internet Explorer usage was at 70% and now in 2012 Internet Explorer usage is at 25%)
Back in my security lab days, my fellow lab rats would refer to Internet Explorer as “Internet Exploder”! ha! One of the first questions I ask when people are having problems with pop up’s or surfing the web is: “What web browser are you using? Internet Explorer or Firefox?” More often than not, people use Internet Explorer. So, what is the difference? Why is Internet Explorer less secure?
- Updates – Internet Explorer is automatically installed with Windows. Because of this, the only way to update Internet Explorer is through the Windows Automatic Updates. That is fine, but the problem is that most people don’t think to install the Windows (which includes Internet Explorer) updates.
- With old vulnerable versions of Internet Explorer out in the WILD of the Internet, you are just asking to get HACKED!
How to avoid getting viruses by surfing the web:
- Install anti-virus!
- Be careful which websites and ads that you visit. (Most Anti-virus products can help you with this!)
- Keep up with your operating system updates. ( Again, I’ll have a follow-up post on this subject)
- Use a browser that has built-in automated updates (Firefox , Chrome, Safari, Opera ) … Let’s just face it, if it’s a choice between going on the computer to install updates, or doing laundry so your family can have clean underwear, which one will win? Ha! … As a side note, you can import your bookmarks into any new browser. You won’t lose the links to you favorite recipe blogs!
- If you use such browser, make sure to INSTALL the updates and not cancel out of the process.
- Consider getting a Internet security solution (this includes firewall, anti-spyware, parental controls)
As a side note, Microsoft is not a BAD company. It’s just that a lot of their software was released to the public with weaknesses that have been exploited. The problem is that the average computer user doesn’t think to install the necessary updates to keep their computer secure. Here are some links to some security services that Microsoft provides:
Microsoft Security Essentials - Free Anti-Virus, anti-spyware software for Windows OS
Malicious Software Removal Tool - Scan your computer for malicious software. You download the application through Windows automatic updates.
Microsoft Security Support Center - Website with references, frequently asked questions, etc.