I’m glad the browser wars are not over. The dark ages of web browsing began when Microsoft crush Netscape. The age of enlightenment began when Mozilla launched Firefox, and Apple launched Safari. Since then, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser has become the Swiss cheese of browsers.
Film at 11:00
News comes today of a direct warning from Micosoft regarding yet another serious computer vulnerability that hasn’t been fixed, and an exploit that creates a zombie of your PC.
A vulnerability is a security risk somewhere on your computer that hasn’t been breached. An exploit is what breaches a known or unknown vulnerability. Conveniently, Microsoft calls it a vulnerability, though it’s already been breached.
Tempered language will make it all better for the affected, right?
This particular problem seems to affect Internet Explorer users on Windows XP, which makes up about 65-percent of the 90-percent of the world’s PCs. So, it’s serious.
What happens? Jordan Robertson of Yahoo! Tech:
It can allow hackers to remotely take control of victims’ machines. The victims don’t need to do anything to get infected except visit a Web site that’s been hacked.
How does all that happen? It’s a coordinated attack. Hackers hack a web site an give it malicious code. Hackers send out spam email with a link back to the malicious site. Internet Explorer users who visit the site can have their PCs hacked.
Again. It’s likely to have happened before. After all, they are Windows users. Jordan again:
Security experts say criminals have been attacking the vulnerability for nearly a week. Thousands of sites have been hacked to serve up malicious software that exploits the vulnerability.
And many tens of thousands of Internet Explorer users have had their PCs hacked, otherwise, why would Microsoft issue a warning before their regular monthly (or, is it weekly? I forget) warning?
A Secure Browser?
Is there such an animal? All browsers have vulnerabilities; holes which can be exploited, perhaps to cause mischief, maybe damage.
The problem with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, particularly older versions running on older versions of Windows, is that there are so many vulnerabilities, and so many exploits. What can a PC user do to avoid those security problems?
Browse different. If switching to a Mac is not an option (even though you’ll live longer, have a larger disposable household income, be relieved of stress, and have an improved complexion), switching browsers is a viable, and increasingly popular solution.
Thanks to increased competition, the browser landscape is littered on one side with ancient, creaky, insecure browsers made by Microsoft, and modern, standards-compliant, more secure browsers, mostly made by everyone else.
Safari on Windows is fast. As is Firefox, yet it comes with many more bells and whistles. Both are free. So is Internet Explorer. The difference is that Microsoft gives you much more than what you pay for. Google’s Chrome is an interesting option, and perhaps the future of desktop browsing.
Which web browser is most secure? The one that doesn’t come from Microsoft.