If there's one nation out there who really, really cares about the
digital well-being of their citizens, it's Germany. Just a couple of
months after the country warned the general public to avoid Internet
Explorer due to a raft of security concerns
, the government has now
done likewise to an unexpected rival: Firefox
Once known as the runaway champion over IE and a browser that could
actually be trusted against hacks, Firefox has grown so large that it's
now considering one of the most targeted and slowest browsers
available. We already heard that growing too large, too fast can do
that too you, and we have definitely had our fair share of frustrations
with the software ever since it hit 3.0 and seemingly went mainstream.
Now, the Germany government is stepping in to warn Internet surfers
against the potential security holes in Mozilla's alternative to
Microsoft's behemoth of a browser. The Federal Office for Information
Security cautioned that "a Firefox vulnerability, confirmed by Firefox
makers, could allow hackers to run malicious programs on users'
computers." Firefox developers are already working hard on the next
version in order to patch the hole that Germany is referencing, with a
beta (3.6.2) already available for those who don't mind taking the risk
of installing untested software. The comical part? Experts are
suggested that switching to another browser might not be a great idea,
Graham Cluley, senior technologist at security firm Sophos, had this to
say: "Switching your web browser willy-nilly as each new unpatched
hole is revealed could cause more problems than it's worth. What are
you going to do when your replacement browser itself turns out to
contain a vulnerability? My advice is to only switch from Firefox if
you really know what you
are doing with the browser you're swapping to. If you stick with
Firefox, apply the security update as soon as it's available."
In other words, it looks like Opera or Camino are your only options
until this whole thing blows over. Or who know, maybe those aren't so
safe either. Feels like a horror movie...