Unending Explorer security woes

February 3, 2011
By

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

To further prove my point from a couple of weeks ago that yes, they really are out to get us and that my healthy level of paranoia is a good thing, Microsoft has announced another security hole in Internet Explorer.

Now, I could be unkind here and say something about it being nothing more than the latest in a long line of security holes and that there are message boards out there with sections dedicated to Microsoft’s security hole of the week, but I’ll resist the temptation because at least they’re trying to be up-front and honest about their shortcomings.

Anyway, Microsoft says the estimated 900 million users of the browser are at risk of having their computers hijacked and their personal information stolen by hackers.

As yet there’s no permanent fix for the security hole but there is a temporary fix that stops hackers exploiting a hole to install malicious scripts. Users could be targeted simply by visiting an infected website.

Microsoft announced the flaw in a security bulletin and in an accompanying blog post said:

The main impact of the vulnerability is unintended information disclosure.

‘For instance, an attacker could construct an HTML link designed to trigger a malicious script and somehow convince the targeted user to click it. Such a script might collect user information (eg, email), spoof content displayed in the browser, or otherwise interfere with the user’s experience.

Windows users who don’t browse the web with Internet Explorer are safe so if you haven’t taken one of the others for a test drive yet, now might be a good time.

I used to be a staunch Firefox fan but have been seriously impressed by the speed and friendliness of Google Chrome.

And now for something completely different, did you all remember to mark Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on Monday?

The event is into its 10th year and if you’ve forgotten to do something special to mark the day, head on over to the Virtual Bubble Wrap site to do something about it.

 

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Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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