The German and French governments have warned web users to find an alternative browser to Internet Explorer to protect security. Microsoft has admitted that IE was the weak link in recent attacks on Google’s systems. That Operation Aurora attack used Chinese malware. This broad attack exploits a new, not publicly known vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Once the malware is downloaded and installed, it opens a back door that allows the attacker to perform reconnaissance and gain complete control over the compromised system.
Microsoft says that the IE browsers’ increased security setting (security zone to “high”) would prevent any serious risk, but German authorities say that even this would not make IE fully safe. This is a vulnerability that was announced in the last couple of days. Microsoft said that all versions of Internet Explorer were affected and there is no patch yet and Microsoft has not given any details of how soon a fix will be released. The risk is lower with more recent releases of its browser, but it is still there. Google IE flaw issue was clearly a PR disaster for Microsoft. Microsoft is hoping that the knee-jerk reaction of France and Germany is not mirrored elsewhere.
So if you are still using IE 6, then it is finally time time to get rid of that very old insecure browser. Any IT professional who is still allowing IE6 to be used in a corporate setting is guilty of malpractice. If you use IE7 or IE8, you should consider to start using a safer web browser because independent research says that IE 7 and 8 can also be exploited.
When you do the change I would recommend to change to Firefox, Opera or Google Chrome. While every browser has its security issues, the alternatives I have given do not have this vulnerability and should be considerable safer alternatives to IE in many other ways as well.