Tuesday, 19 January 2010

IE browser faces security concerns from Europe

The recent news that Google is considering ending its operation in China following a cyber-attack in December has led to protests from the US Government and further concerns and issues being raised about attacks on various government websites worldwide.

In Germany the government has now issued a statement warning web users to find an alternative browser to Internet Explorer to protect their security. As reported by the BBC, this comes after Microsoft admitted IE was the weak link in recent attacks on Google's systems. However, Microsoft rejected the warning, saying that the risk to users was low and that the browsers' increased security setting (which is not the default level used by most users) would prevent any serious risk.

However, this warning has now been repeated by France, which - if heeded - will cause significant damage to the reputation and market share of Microsoft's browser. In reply, Microsoft have tried to downplay the concerns but clearly wants to get more users upgraded to the newer, more secure version of Internet Explorer. However, according to Australian security experts quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald, the European concerns are 'overblown'.

Regardless of all this - and despite their issues with China - Google must be taking a secret delight at the problems Microsoft are now having to fend off which were, presumably unwittingly, caused by the original China story. If many people do move away from using Microsoft's browser, the main alternatives are Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome product.

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