On January 12, 2010 Google added a long-winded post to their blog titled, “A new approach to China.” In this blog post, Google details attacks made on “dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China.” While I won’t go into the details about Google’s new approach to China, I will point out one detail that struck me as interesting. It has been found that an Internet Explorer malware vulnerability was used in the attack– particularly Internet Explorer 6.
You may be asking yourself why anyone still uses a browser released in 2001 when the most recent version of this browser (Internet Explorer 8 ) has been out since March of 2009. The main reason someone would still be using Internet Explorer 6 is because his or her company requires Internet Explorer 6 to run their customized Enterprise applications which, unfortunately, will only run on Internet Explorer 6.
Another interesting thing to note about the attacks is that even though Internet Explorer 6 was used in the attacks, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 were vulnerable as well. Since the attacks, Microsoft has pushed fixes out to all Windows users with automatic updates turned on. Only one day after Microsoft issued the fix they are investigating newly found flaws in Internet Explorer.
With that being said, why wouldn’t you jump ship completely and go with a non-Microsoft browser, especially with all the advantages of switching to another browser?
If you are a corporate user, you may rely on Microsoft Server or Microsoft Small Business Server to handle the inner workings of your networked computers and emails. The only way to get full functionality out of Microsoft Office Web Outlook Access and Microsoft Remote Web Workplace is to use a Microsoft browser (Internet Explorer).
However, if you are not using either of these applications and are still using Internet Explorer, why not enhance your browsing experience with added security, speed and more overall Web Standards compatibility? Here are some links to the browsers I would recommend:
As a Web Developer, I want to also note that you should always keep your browser up to date with the most recent patches. This will not only ensure that your browser is secure from attacks, but will also ensure that you are viewing content in the way that it was intended for you to see!