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January 18, 2010

European governments issue caution on Internet Explorer

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by Darren Allan

Microsoft’s web browser has come under fire from both the German and French governments, who have issued advisories not to use it.

The move comes after it emerged that a vulnerability in Internet Explorer was the root of the Chinese hacking attacks aimed at Google (and other companies) last week.

Both governments have recommended that citizens switch to an alternative and safer browser, such as Firefox, IE’s main rival.

Microsoft, for its part, has stressed that the security flaw only affects those using Internet Explorer 6, and urged users to upgrade to the latest version, IE 8.

Not that too many people will still be using IE 6, of course.

However, according to security experts, there is a potential risk that the vulnerability may eventually be exploited in later versions of Internet Explorer, and even version 8.

Microsoft is working on a patch to deal with this hacking gremlin as we type, but there’s no confirmation yet of when it will be made available.

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