Germany Suggests Users Not Use Internet Explorer Due To Security Concerns

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News Posted: Sun, Jan 17 2010 11:52 PM
Oh, brother. You know things are bad when people start ditching yourproduct over fears that it's slower and less secure than other freealternatives, but things are really bad when a government recommends toits citizens that consumers should ditch your product if they haven'talready. It almost sounds too weird to be true, but the German FederalOffice for Security in Information Technology (better known as BSI) hasactually issued a formal statement urging consumers to shy away from IEand try their luck with something else...like Firefox.

We can't say that we're experts in translating the German tongue, butthe gist of it is that German users are recommended to not use IE untilMicrosoft issues a fix that remedies a critical vulnerability that someare saying had a lot to do with the Chinese attack on Google. It'slikely that Microsoft will patch things up and life will continue on asscheduled, but there's more to this story that that.



Internet Explorer has been taking hits for awhile now. But this isprobably the biggest, most widely recognized hit of all. When agovernment issues a statement, it's more than just some frustrated usercomplaining. It makes people take notice, and while we doubt that IEwill lose a ton of market share (thanks to it being packaged withinWindows), it certainly won't help its standing in the market place.After all, when is the last time you heard of a serious security holein any other browser aside from IE? We're waiting.
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Kind of funny, considering it's what (I believe?) most moderately experienced computer users have been suggesting for a long time now.

Will be interested to see if the common user perks up when the government gets involved, especially if this news spread to more non-German countries. Could another large swing in browser market share be in the cards?

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Lol, very funny actually. I hardly use IE anymore, very slow compared to FF and Chrome. I expect other EU nations to take note of the German's opinion.

Did the BSI issue the warning against a particular version of IE, or just IE in general?

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realneil replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 8:52 AM

After all of the years of security compromises, being hacked, phished, and everything else, I came to an understanding about IE. I can express it all in just one sentence,..........................

Idea"Using Internet Explorer is like being slowly pecked to death by chickens"Idea

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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Soupstyle replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 12:36 PM

I use IE at work, because I have no choice. But I like FireFox for home, I just wish they would fix their huge memory eating problem. I haven't tried Chrome yet, but I hear some good things about it. Opera I haven't used since switching to FF after FF3.0 came out.

I am really surprised that it took this long for someone this high up (governmental) to suggest not using IE, especially since the EU has been beating MS over the head with their bundling of Windows and IE together.

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acarzt replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 1:43 PM

I user IE at home and at work. I've never had a problem with it being slow *shrugs*

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Soupstyle replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 1:46 PM

It's not about it being slow, but due to the fact you can get hacked when using it.

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@realneil lol!

@soupstyle Hmmm...that's a good point. Maybe it's an attack at Microsoft rather than IE.

Opera is pretty great too, and I think they were the first to come up with the "tabs" that everyone now imitates.

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 2:14 PM

So when do they start with the Adobe ban? I mean Flash and Acrobat have more un-patched vulnerabilities that are known than any other products on the planet and they are multi platform products.

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Haha, I don't know. But perhaps that should be brought up during the next BSI meeting.

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ClemSnide replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 4:50 PM

Here's an interesting little quirk. I decided to check out the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, and was offered a scan of my computer. However, when I clicked the button for it, I got

We're sorry. This version of the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner doesn't work with your Web browser or operating system.

Now, I think that they'd support Windows 7, but I'm using Firefox. So the only way to get that free security scan is to use the browser banned in Germany. <Arte Johnson voice>Ver-y in-te-res-tink.</Arte Johnson voice>


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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Haha, time for another class action lawsuit!

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Bighorse replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 8:34 PM

Poor Microsoft, Europe has it out for them. I prefer Firefox for all my internet needs. If Microsoft can improve IE like they did with WIndows 7 they will be taking king of the mountain again.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Jan 18 2010 11:55 PM

Yeah; well when you the most popular (or used however you wanna see it) software numbers wise on the planet by such a great amount who else is there to target. I am not even stating any worth on the software I am just stating bare facts. Windows in general is used by what like 60-75% of all computer users on the planet. Even if it is only 50% the other 50 is split up by everyone else operating system wise. So at a minimum it's 10-1, and most of those users or at least to the greatest percentage use the browser that came with it. I have used Firefox/IE since the first version, and firefox solely for many years, I used opera/IE before that and the only thing I used IE for was pages that were incompatible with either one then I opened IE. Either way M$ needs to do some serious work on there trunk, and I mean major. I personally think the should make everything run in a sandbox type environment. I mean every software from explorer to internet explorer to the registry and kernel. We are coming up on 6 then 8 core cpu's this year, computers run 4, 6, 8,12 or more gigs of memory. So the hardware could support it and it in some ways would bring another big boom to the market anyways as well as their current 64 bit OS and there upcoming 128 bit OS so why not. The company has more resources than many small countries, but ther a77 has gotten fat and they don't like getting of it I think. I think WINDOWS 7 is great, but did it bring anywhere near the innovation XP brought to the market or even 95 for that matter? No it had several new tricks etc etc but it was not as innovative as when big bill ran it like a tank squadron commander of marines. He needs to quit running around the world being a philanthropist and do it himself or find someone to or google/apple/ or the Torvalds special forces are gonna band together and ruin his empire.

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Soupstyle replied on Tue, Jan 19 2010 6:07 PM

I don't see the point of a 128bit OS when there is so little support for 64bit, even with 64bit OS and systems, programs seem to be still written overwhelmingly in x86/32bit code.

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Indeed. How long ago was it that AMD came out with the first 64-bit processor? The initial claim was that it would change the way we do computing forever...

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mhenriday replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 3:32 PM

Both the French and the Australian governments have followed suit, which may well have influenced Microsoft to push out a patch so quickly (for Microsoft). So we'll patch tomorrow (both this vulnerability and one which has been around for some 17 years) and wait for the next one to be exposed ; I certainly hope that governments will be on their toes to keep Microsoft on theirs !...

Henri

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The damage may have already been done:

Firefox, Opera downloads surge after IE security scare

 

Lol, but this is rather embarrassing for Microsoft. How long have they known about this vulnerability? This has turned into a PR nightmare for them.

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digitaldd replied on Thu, Jan 21 2010 10:15 AM

ClemSnide:

Here's an interesting little quirk. I decided to check out the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, and was offered a scan of my computer. However, when I clicked the button for it, I got

We're sorry. This version of the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner doesn't work with your Web browser or operating system.

Now, I think that they'd support Windows 7, but I'm using Firefox. So the only way to get that free security scan is to use the browser banned in Germany. <Arte Johnson voice>Ver-y in-te-res-tink.</Arte Johnson voice>

You mean you can't download the Microsoft MRT app via Firefox? something must be wrong cause I can d/l it no problem in multiple versions of windows even 64bit Win7 with the 64 bit firefox..shiretoko.

 

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Soupstyle replied on Thu, Jan 21 2010 10:41 PM

The question is, did Google find and leak this vulnerability themselves and blame it on the chinese (easy scapegoat) to drive people into driving up Chrome downloads and hording more data to sell you more ads!

/tinfoil hat on

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If Germany was the worldwide leader in OS development and everyone here was using their system, wouldn't it benefit our country to issue a warning that their system was unsafe. That way everyone in this country would run towards a homegrown solution, yet globally everyone else can think, use anything else but Deutsche Fenster !

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ClemSnide replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 9:34 AM

We did that already, animatortom. It was called the Enigma code.


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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