Experts warn of IE bug

2012-09-17 22:33

Boston - Computer security experts are urging PC users to temporarily stop browsing the web with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, saying a newly identified bug in the software makes computers susceptible to attack by hackers.

"Bad guys can use this vulnerability to do bad things to your computer. They can access all the files you have access to on your computer," said Tod Beardsley, an engineering manager with the security firm Rapid7.

In response to a request for comment, Microsoft said in a statement, "We are actively investigating these reports and will take the necessary steps to help protect customers."

In the meantime, security experts said that computer users should avoid Internet Explorer.

"There are other browsers that people can use temporarily until the problem gets fixed. Or they can gamble," said Paul Ferguson, senior threat researcher with Japanese anti-virus software maker Trend Micro.

"Why take the risk? I'd stay the heck away," said Jeff Bardin, chief intelligence officer with Treadstone 71, a cyber security consulting firm.

Eric Romang, a security adviser with e-Business & Resilience Centre, a firm in Luxembourg, discovered the bug on Friday while investigating servers that he suspected were being used by hackers, according to his blog.

Those hackers had figured out a way to infect computers by exploiting the previously unknown vulnerability in Internet Explorer, according to Beardsley.

The hackers could put malicious code onto healthy websites and cause surfers who visited those sites to have their machines infected, Beardsley said.

Internet Explorer was the world's second-most widely used browser last month, with about 33% market share, according to StatCounter. It was close behind Google's Chrome browser, which had 34% of the market.

Marc Maiffret, chief technology officer of security firm BeyondTrust, said that some businesses may not be able to stop using Internet Explorer because they use applications or sites that are not compatible with Chrome or other options.

He said that such companies might consider making their systems compatible with Chrome.

  • gideon.keyser - 2012-09-17 22:40

    people still use IE?

      charmaine.rowlands - 2012-09-18 00:26

      they DO!! can you believe that? As a web designer IE is my WORST nightmare, but sadly most of the known world does indeed use IE - what's up with that

      nico.vandermerwe.54 - 2012-09-18 06:00

      I had endless difficulties using SARS Efiling on Chrome, so SARS said I must use IE. I use IE only for efiling. Is that still the case?

      ina.cripps.5 - 2012-09-18 07:38

      Rather use Firefox if you have trouble with Chrome. But only as an alternative I find. Firefox also has its peculiarities, but IE is a no-no as far as I'm concerned!

      truthis.tway - 2012-09-18 08:55

      Actually Charmaine according to this website - - IE is a minority, and is declining if you look at previous stats. I support software which is delivered via browsers and it is a nightmare trying to find a browser that works consistently, they all suck in my opinion.

      Havokreeka - 2012-09-18 09:59

      They do Gideon, just to download another browser though...

      deabreu - 2012-09-18 10:12

      @gideon,@everyone - if someone says anything negative on your replies, just ignore them! For some strange reason, there happens to be plenty of Microsoft "fans" out there whenever bad press comes out (perhaps a few paid fans?) - and they ALWAYS thumbs down, and make comments to discredit bad press. If you make a comment AGAINST Microsoft, expect backlash from these mysteriously overly protective "fans". keep an eye on this page for the "Microsoft is the best - everyone else is not". It happens, A LOT!

      preshen.govender.90 - 2012-09-18 11:37

      @nico.vandermerwe.54 - Google chrome has it on internal PDF viewer You have to change the setting go to this site to view the steps

  • charmaine.rowlands - 2012-09-18 00:26

    The ONLY thing IE is good for is downloading Chrome

  • Billy - 2012-09-18 02:42

    ppl that complain about IE are experiencing a PEBKAC error. and you lazy web designers and developers must learn how to create proper websites instead of being lazy and cutting corners because it works in firefox or chrome, stop making sites with security holes in it, noobs.

      jacques.southafrican - 2012-09-18 06:32

      Definitely a PEBKAC issue, but not with those "other" users. If you read the article, the vulnerability is in IE, not in a website. The problem is IE compatibility is created by Microsoft themselves, who changed the way in which IE works in an attempt to make the web proprietary. Stew in your own pot, noob.

      justin.pretorius - 2012-09-18 08:19

      I agree with jacques.southafrican. IE is a nightmare to support when developing websites - not worth the hassle.

      anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-09-18 09:20

      I'm on Firefox. WTF is a PEBKAC error?

      sean.carbutt - 2012-09-18 10:13

      @anakin Use the force, use the force. Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair [or User - PEBKAU] Microsoft is like the Borg from Star Trek, they assimilate all in their path

      flysouth - 2012-09-18 11:42

      You do not know what you are talking about.

      Billy - 2012-09-18 13:53

      lol, sorry guys it was late so i thought i'd have some fun. i was trolling flysouth, i know exactly what im talking about, thats how i am able to say exactly the wrong thing. i know designers and developers get worked if you tell them IE is better etc etc.

  • cedric.labuschagne - 2012-09-18 05:34

    Hey web designers, pay attention to the statement , 33 % market share, you complain, but hey why dont you just build your sites for with compatibility for every other browser except IE, and see what happens to your business revenue!

  • ndokweni - 2012-09-18 07:51

    I use opera and i t good

  • tyranvz - 2012-09-18 07:58

    Anything Microsoft touches is doomed.

  • delport.onvlee - 2012-09-18 08:03

    4 Big companies in SA cannot use anything other than IE. SARS, Credit wise, FNB - Business and ABSA - Business. I had endless issues trying to move my users to Chrome or Firefox but these companies refused to change their sites. So home user fine, move but business cant... What to do...

      justin.pretorius - 2012-09-18 08:22

      This seems to be a world-wide pattern. During the day it is IE and after work it is anything else. I have not used IE except for SARS etc. I can use Firefox for my internet banking with SBank and even overseas banking but the rest I am afraid are to hung up on IE.

      anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-09-18 09:28

      Filed a SARS return using FIREFOX with Adobe Flash plug-in last year -worked like a dream. SARS upgraded their systems after the first year's e-filing nightmare and complaints. I don't need IE for anything in fact-there's always a work-around for standalone users. The problem seems to be if your'e stuck on a big-business internal LAN or something.

  • anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-09-18 09:17

    Wow...the last time I used IE was 3x yrs ago, when I wanted to check some technical issue. Very happy with Firefox and will try Google Chrome as well, just not Microsoft's cursed IE which I really hate.

  • mathew.wilson.9231 - 2012-09-18 10:25

    We need IE guys! How else are we gonna download other browsers?

  • reinhard.kirchner - 2012-09-18 10:59

    Every developer must start charging IE tax if you have to develop for IE as well.... problem solved!!

  • flysouth - 2012-09-18 11:41

    Why change 'temporarily' to another browser? - do that permanently right now and be rid of the Microsoft rubbish. I only have IE on my computer so I can see all the bad rendering after designing a website using good code and then I have to mess about to adapt to IE - whilst the code works in every other browser it bombs out in IE? - it is nonsense! As a person in IT, I can see from browser stats of website visitors, that IE is far less popular than ever. Firefox is far, far better and almost twice as fast to load pages in some cases.

  • tshepang.mothibedi - 2012-09-18 12:51

    People, Seriously Now, STAY AWAY FROM IE. PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!

  • jatin.aggarwal.395 - 2012-11-30 03:52

    Please make sure before purchasing any Sony product as Sony isn’t a customer friendly. Hi All, My name is Jatin Aggarwal. My contact number is +91-9968241605. I had purchased a Sony Xperia Tipo on 21th Oct 2012 and on the very same day I got the issue (Touch not working and Hang) with that. I had logged the complaint against it to very next day of purchase on this ID ( & ) and got an email of troubleshooting steps of software upgrade. I had done as they mentioned on the mail but no luck. Then, I had visited to their service center (Vinayak Enterprises, 5/13, West Patel Nagar, New Delhi-110008) and open a ticket (12102500936) for handset replacement but they also said it has only a software issue and after reloading it would be fine. I told to them I have already tired and there is a hardware issue not a software issue, but they didn’t agree to listen me. Software was uploaded by them on it and it worked only for 2 day and then got the same issue. I again visited the same service center for showing the same issue and said to them please replace my handset and also open the ticket (12111700123 DOA) for it replacement but still they are saying it would only be repair not replaced. I kept this mobile only for 3 days in my hand from the purchase date and rest of days it is with your service center. Right now it is also with your service center for Motherboard replacement and I don’t know when it would be in my hand.

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