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German government warns against IE use

With the latest of serious bugs in IE going unfixed for a couple of days now, Germany’s government has taken the surprising move to urge its citizens to stop using the long standing browser, amid fears over its security. Considering the flaw can affect all versions of the browser, it might not be a bad idea to listen.

However while anyone can be affected, the average user may not be the intended target. A German researcher has suggested that this latest loophole is being utilised by hackers in an attempt to infiltrate defence contractors. The evidence for such a claim came when his machine became infected while he was analysing a server used last year as part of a industrial espionage campaign against chemical and defence companies, according to Reuters. This put the scare into the German authorities, enough that they recommend using an alternative browser – at least until the bug is fixed.

Internet Explorer
And I bet you all thought I was going to use a pic from Downfall...

Microsoft hasn’t responded to the German announcement, but company spokeswoman Yunsun Wee, said in a statement about the bug that: “There have been an extremely limited number of attacks. The vast majority of Internet Explorer users have not been impacted.”

However, security firm AlienVauls announced yesterday that it had discovered three new servers that hosted websites that exploited the Internet Explorer vulnerability. It also believes the bug is being used to target defence contractors, since one of the sites infected with the exploitative code was one that provided news on India’s defence sector.

Microsoft has said it plans to release a short term fix, before a full update in the future. No set date has been given for either of these releases.

KitGuru Said: While IE dips in and out of first place as the most used browser, the others aren’t far behind. Hopefully that means not too many people will be caught out by this latest IE bug.

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