For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

Summary: Microsoft has an aggressive initiative to kill Internet Explorer 6, the 10-year-old browser version that has outlived its usefulness.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Security
25

Microsoft has an aggressive initiative to kill Internet Explorer 6, the 10-year-old browser version that has outlived its usefulness.

The Twitter message above links to a special web site aimed at helping businesses upgrade to newer versions of Internet Explorer.

[ SEE: Microsoft: Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer 6 ]

A big part of that story is security.  Internet Explorer 6 is riddled with security vulnerabilities and does not contain many of the necessary anti-exploit mechanisms in newer IE versions.  Microsoft's new site mentions the security angle as well:

The web has changed significantly over the past 10 years. The browser has evolved to adapt to new web technologies, and the latest versions of Internet Explorer help protect you from new attacks and threats.

I just looked at the ZDNet Zero Day stats for February 2009 and saw that we still have a few stragglers reading this blog on IE 6:

Keep in mind that the famous Operation Aurora targeted attack that hit Google, Adobe, Juniper and countless other U.S. companies actually exploited a vulnerability in IE6.

This browser version needs to die.  Please spread the word.

Topic: Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

25 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

    Kill WinXP and you will kill IE6!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Oooh

      @Cylon Centurion 0005 <br><br>Wonder how I ever got IE7 or IE8 - or any other arguably better non-MS browser - on the WXP machines I've built? hmmm lemme ... <br><br> *THINK*
      klumper
      • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

        @klumper

        I am thinking. And in this point, if you look at the stats Microsoft provided, it is all but the third world (China being the biggest offender) keeping XP and IE6 usage share so high.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • No

        @Cylon Centurion<br><br>Just IE6. Don't oversimplify things by lumping XP + IE6 together, like they're fused at the hip. Even relatively novice PC users upgrade their browsers, and have been doing so going back to day one. Haven't you?<br><br>I shouldn't have to remind you that such bump-ups are also pushed through various Windows updating mechanisms. IE6 remains big where 1) 3rd world piracy flourishes (mostly China) and 2) where MS allows such offerings for next to free, for their PC-illiterate taking (mostly China). You know, like a pusher does to a junkie. Initially. [They'll worry about any potential "leveraging" later].<br><br>XP remains popular everywhere peeps and businesses want to save a buck, and for anyone not riveted to the Windows treadmill (ok, and in the Mongolian backlands). You want me to shock your monkey and build you a SECURE and fully patched XP config, just to prove it can be done? I'm on such a unit as we speak, sans AV. *GASP* But it doesn't include running an outdated browser.<br><br>Now don't let any of this break your heart, there's an NT6 unit or two around here I fire up a-plenty too. ;)
        klumper
      • Same mistake... as always...

        @Cylon Centurion 0005 : you make the same mistake most analysts and techno-bablers do when addressing Windows XP and IE6.<br><br>Most of you think that upgrading is just a matter of hitting the "upgrade" button on any Microsoft page to download the better browser.<br><br>Wrong! Dead Wrong! IE6 is really here to stay. Why? Because tens of thousands of internal programs--mark my words, there, internal in-house developed programs--behind the firewall, proprietary web pages only work with IE6. But they can't move forward 'cause Windows accepts one IE at a time and IE7/IE8 renders things in a different way, thus breaking those internal sites. With that said, all Microsoft stats about IE6 are wrong, 'cause no one--in its right mind--accesses the Internet with IE6.<br><br>Microsoft never figured that if they were going to be the market leader and "de-facto standarist" they would have to be faithful and jealous to their standards, even if they were against the modern trends.<br><br>Witness IBM's stance. z/OS still allows COBOL 1985 programs. IBM i (AS/400) can still be programmed in RPG III developed for the System/38 (in 1979). They not only support them, but have created intermixed solutions to allow safe inhabiting of both systems (aka RPG IV or ILE RPG allows C++ to be intermingled with old tabular style RPG).<br><br>Not Microsoft. Then wanted to move forward. But forgot to look back. Their problem, not ours.<br><br>In the mean time, just like in my machine: all internal web pages are rendered using IE6, all external Internet stuff is left to Firefox. <i>Best of both worlds</i>.
        cosuna
    • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

      [i]Kill WinXP and you will kill IE6![/i]

      @Cylon Centurion 0005 The Chinese aren't going to cater to your whims Nor will they cater to your Win7 sales quota for that matter. You will just have to live with it.
      LTV10
  • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

    Will you please include the legend for the pie graph? Stats are meaningless without it, even with IE6 mentioned in it.
    Grayson Peddie
    • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

      @Grayson Peddie I was thinking the same thing. That graph is pretty bad.
      statuskwo5
      • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

        @statuskwo5
        I liked the colors.
        DannyO_0x98
  • Again, it's been only 5 years since EI7 was released.

    And the Internet hasn't changed that much except that everyone now knows the vulnerabilities in IE6. What we don't know are all the vulnerabilities that are in IE8, ESPECIALLY when used on an XP platform.

    Personally, I use IE ONLY for updating my XP machines and have had that policy in place since XP was introduced. Perhaps I SHOULD worry about vulnerabilities in IE6!

    LOL :)

    Methinks that thou doth protest too much.
    jacarter3
  • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

    <a href="http://www.ie6countdown.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ie6countdown.com/</a><br><br>based on the chart, most ie6 users are from China, India and Saudi Arabia. Probably they are still using old hardwares. New Softwares and OS requires new hardwares. I think that is one of the main reason that XP (and ie6) cannot be killed easily.
    iluvmsft
  • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

    You won't see the hundreds of XP machines using IE6 we've got at work, they are locked down tight and this site is inaccessible, everything is inaccessible apart from the company intranet.

    It sucks.

    Good thing I can pull out my iPhone and break free, so you'll see that instead.
    alsobannedfromzdnet
  • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

    @ klumper: IE along with plenty of MS Apps pushed through Windows Update is an optional download, no matter how you've got your Windows Updates set.
    bradavon
    • Clarification

      @bradavon <br><br>As long as the notification appears as a high-priority update via Automatic Updates (AU), as IE7 and IE8 have, and as opposed to something one would have to hunt down on their own, the solution remains at hand. These updates are also offered via the Windows Update (WU) and Microsoft Update (MU) sites.

      As for those who don't opt in when given the choice, well, the same kind of decision-making applies when it comes to using the seatbelts in your car, no? ;)

      Reference:
      <b>IE7 to be distributed via Automatic Updates</b>
      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2006/07/26/678149.aspx

      <b>Prepare for Automatic Update distribution of IE8</b>
      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2009/04/10/prepare-for-automatic-update-distribution-of-ie8.aspx
      klumper
  • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

    IE6 was very secure.
    All the vulnerabilities were only because of its popularity.
    The same with Windows and Linux.

    Wasn't this is what all the Microsoft sheep told us at the time ?

    When a new version of Windows or IE comes out the previous arguments disappear to fit in with Microsoft's financial needs.
    Chipesh
    • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

      @Chipesh <br><i>All the vulnerabilities were only because of its popularity.</i><br>The pie chart above, though lacking in legend, tells us that IE6 is one of the LEAST popular at the moment. But I agree, it was previously popular during its release. And has the biggest chunk long time back.<br><br><i>When a new version of Windows or IE comes out the previous arguments disappear to fit in with Microsoft's financial needs.</i><br>The only sentence which I think I'll agree.<br><br><i>The same with Windows and Linux.</i><br>http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/ubuntu-security-holes-found-holes-fixed/8402?tag=mantle_skin;content<br>I wonder what's your opinion on this.<br> You seem to be hiding when your favourite OS is on the hot seat. (you see, lots of bugs unearthed there even if it doesn't have a huge chunk of the pie, what more if its being played and tinkered with by nearly everybody on the planet)
      Martmarty
      • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

        @Martmarty <br>My opinion is that it reaffirms my beliefs.<br><br>Insomuch as it's relevant to our transient existence, I really believe in the beliefs that underpin Linux.<br><br>Microsoft represents all that I don't believe in, a company based on lies and corruption, a company that stagnates progress for short term profit.<br><br>Microsoft is and always has been about Microsoft. <br>The gullibility of Windows users saddens me, but such is the way of the world.
        Chipesh
    • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

      @Chipesh

      "IE6 was very secure."

      Relative to Netscape Navigator, perhaps.

      But I'd bet Firefox, Chrome, IE8, IE9, and Opera against that claim today.

      "When a new version of Windows or IE comes out the previous arguments disappear to fit in with Microsoft's financial needs."

      Yeah, just forget all of the well documented security changes in the last few years. Ignore those technical papers, they make your brain hurt too much.
      CobraA1
      • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

        @CobraA1 <br><br>Looks like my comments went straight over your head.
        Chipesh
      • RE: For security reasons alone, you should ditch IE6

        No Chipesh, I know you're just taking a cheap shot against Windows. It's too easy to lump everybody in the same category and hate them. Which is what you're doing, and it's a big disservice to the community.
        CobraA1