- Monday, 18 January 2010
- By Dave Wilton
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In-light of recent media coverage involving suspected Chinese attacks on Google and various other companies I thought I'd take the opportunity to discuss the continued use of Internet Explorer and specifically IE6.
I personally think that most people still using IE6 are unaware of the security risk they are taking. Internet Explorer has been subjected to many security vulnerabilities and concerns: Much of the spyware, adware, and computer viruses across the Internet are made possible by exploitable bugs and flaws in the security architecture of Internet Explorer, sometimes requiring nothing more than viewing of a malicious web page in order to install themselves.
The "Aurora" IE Exploit recently used against Google users is the perfect example of a security flaw used in Internet Explorer. The link below contains an example video showing just how easy it is for this type of attack to occur. http://praetorianprefect.com/archives/2010/01/the-aurora-ie-exploit-in-action/
I know that may of our clients are forced to use IE6 because of company / corporate security policies setup by their system administrators. What I don't understand though is the continued use of IE6 by system admin's when other options are available.
System admin's will argue that undertaking an upgrade is a expensive exercise and that they are better of delaying upgrades and saving money until they can undertake a full system upgrade. My response to these remarks are, "What is more expensive… the lose of company data (sensitive or financial) or having a virus run through the company network?"
There are other reasons for not using IE6 which are related to web development, basically IE6 is holding things back. There are many new tools available in modern web browsers but unfortunately some of these simply cannot be used because of the existence of IE6. Another problem is the development time used to get websites and web applications compatible with IE6, this can sometimes account for up to 20% of development time.
So if you have the option to upgrade or change web browsers, you can find a list of modern web browsers below.
Google Chrome - http://www.google.com/chrome/
Firefox - http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/
Safari - http://www.apple.com/safari/
Opera - http://www.opera.com/