Recent IE security flaw is one flaw too many: Time to jump ship?

Summary:If Internet Explorer had better fix and flaw updating features like its Chrome and Firefox rivals, perhaps the 900 million vulnerable to one recent security hole could be far lower.

A new critical security vulnerability in Internet Explorer has been exposed, allowing attackers to obtain personal information by running malicious scripts on websites.

As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports, this affects all users of Windows. In total, its estimated to affect 900 million people worldwide.

Nearly one billion people. That's nearly one in six of all people on the planet. Enough is enough. I think it's time to jump ship, don't you?

For me, this is too much, and one step too far. There is near no doubt that Internet Explorer 9, the latest incarnation of the browser, soon to be out in release candidate stage, is the most secure, dynamic and powerful yet.

But without effective systems in place to prevent lax security and quality assurance, to the actual fixes themselves, millions of users, in particular pirate copy users of Windows will go about unpatched.

The simplicity factor in being able to patch the browser is another problem users of Internet Explorer have.

Both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox update on a regular basis with fixes, tweaks and community submitted reports. Firefox reports on these changes and asks for permission to update - seemingly out of respect and courtesy, whereas Chrome updates constantly through a running background service.

But when Internet Explorer is found to suffer from such wide scale vulnerabilities, the general public have to resort to being told by the technology media, rather than the browser itself.

And in my experience, the Windows Update service is too slow. Nearly a full day after this was discovered, the only update I have on my machines is a definition update for Microsoft's anti-virus program. It's not good enough.

With this particular flaw exploiting scripts and attaining information held on the computer, combined with the fact that so many enterprise workplaces and universities run the browser on their Windows machines, huge quanitites of data could be harvested.

Is it time for an Internet Explorer mass exodus?

Topics: Security, Browser, Microsoft

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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