Microsoft fixing Internet Explorer vulnerabilities. Again.
Later today, Microsoft will release a round of security patches for its Internet Explorer browser. In itself, that's not unusual -- all browsers need these updates from time to time, thanks to the cockroach-like tenacity of malware authors.
But Microsoft's upcoming patch -- called an "out-of-band" release for its arrival outside of the company's usual monthly cycle of patches -- addresses Windows vulnerabilities so severe that they were apparently exploited in the coordinated Chinese attacks Google denounced in last week's "New Approach to China" blog post.
I can't argue with that specific advice: As I've written multiple times, IE 6 is a hopelessly insecure, incapable browser that should have been dragged to the Recycle Bin years ago. (If you work in an office that requires IE 6, you're a victim of computing malpractice -- either by an IT department in denial, or by outside software vendors too lazy or inept to fix Web applications that require that obsolete browser.)
Upgrade already. At least move to IE 8, though you should remember the phrase "current exploit" in that Microsoft note -- some future version of the "Aurora" attack will probably find a weakness in IE that will require yet another patch. So also consider a more capable third-party browser like Mozilla Firefox (just updated to version 3.6 today, which adds a useful feature to warn you of out-of-date plug-ins), Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari or Opera. If you don't know how to install a new browser, beg or bribe a friend to help you through the process. Just get it over with. Today. Please?
January 21, 2010; 12:49 PM ET
Categories: Security , Windows
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