Internet Explorer Users Urged to Use FireFox Temporarily
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- Written on: September 15th, 2006
After Microsoft released a whole new batch of security patches early this week, a new and previously unknown security vulnerability in Internet Explorer could allow websites to corrupt the memory of computers running the Microsoft web browser. I am recommending that all computer users temporarily switch to the FireFox browser until a patch is released for this latest flaw. You can download Firefox free of charge at http://www.getfirefox.com.
As a rule, Microsoft releases patches once each month on “Patch Tuesday.” In these releases, the company closes security loopholes and repairs newly discovered flaws in their software products. In an increasing trend, it appears that discoveries of new, previously unknown security problems are being posted to the Internet shortly after Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday. The new trend allows the flaws to go unremedied for a longer period of time and increases the likelihood that they will be exploited to attack computer users.
While there is no patch available now for the problem, Microsoft suggests Windows users disable ActiveX and active scripting controls to prevent infection on their computers. Performing these tasks can be somewhat technical, and will could also interfere with the operation of valid websites on your computer, such as the Windows Update website its self.
IE versions 5.01 and 6 on all current versions of Windows are affected by this problem, which means if you use Internet Explorer now, you are at risk. With that in mind, Microsoft said it had not heard of any attempts to use this exploit to attack computers as of yet. Microsoft added that a patch will come, but failed to specify if it will be before October’s “Patch Tuesday.”
Another viable workaround that is far less technical and will allow you to retain full use of the Internet would be to install the FireFox browser. FireFox is a browser very similar to Internet Explorer. FireFox is free, and because it works differently than Internet Explorer is not susceptible to this exploit. Schrock Innovations recommends that all computer users install the FireFox browser on their computer, even if they do not plan on switching away from Internet Explorer. If you have FireFox on your computer, you can switch on a temporary basis until a patch is release for this problem.
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