Mozilla Downloads Rise Following US-CERT Recommendation to Drop IE

Friday July 2nd, 2004

Wired News is reporting that Mozilla downloads have surged following advice from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to avoid Internet Explorer for security reasons. Download numbers approximately doubled in the days following the US-CERT recommendation, which was made in the form of an update to an earlier vulnerability note and comments to the press. US-CERT is a partnership between the United States Department of Homeland Security — the government organisation set up in the wake of September 11th to prevent terrorist attacks — and the public and private sectors.

US-CERT's advice follows last week's outbreak of the Download.Ject virus, which exploited a number of holes in Microsoft's IIS Web server and Internet Explorer to install a password-stealing trojan horse on Web surfers' computers. Microsoft patched some of the flaws before the outbreak occurred and today released another update that protects against the vulnerability by way of a configuration change (though the underlying problem has not been fixed). Windows users should hotstep it to Windows Update (must be visited using IE) to install the patch, regardless of whether they use Internet Explorer as their default browser.

#1 You mean there is no way to turn off IE???

by pkb351 <>

Friday July 2nd, 2004 7:09 PM

You are replying to this message

I have used Macs since the early 80s and therefore have little knowledge of the Windows world. Are you saying there is no way to switch off IE and that it still must be patched in order to prevent security breaches and viruses from effecting the computer? On the Mac if I choose not to use Safari, I don't have to worry about security patches Apple may release for Safari, as long as I don't intend on using it.

The security of MS Windows, I would think, would be a major reason for users to abandon MS in droves. How come users are not seeking out/damanding alternative OSes in large numbers. MS, It seems can allow viruses and security breaches on an almost weekly basis without loosing hardly any of its user base....amazing. How long would any other software manufacturer be in business if their software was of the same quality as MS IE? Even Adobe Photoshop (which has more than 90% of all the professional graphics users) would in very short order loose significant market share to the Open Source GIMP if Photoshop required weekly patching to prevent major computer damaging faults in its programing from harming the user's computer.

So IE has to be patched even if the user doesn't use it to surf the web: maybe it is time that the MS user look for an alternative OS and browser.