01.19.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

More Nations Make Statements Against Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, So Microsoft Advertises ‘Upgrades’

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: France is the latest nation to sail away from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which is notorious for enabling full system compromise such as the one that recently targeted Google users

Germany has already recommended that people abandon Internet Explorer (this received some mainstream press coverage from the BBC) and France is doing the same. From the BBC:

France has echoed calls by the German government for web users to find an alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) to protect security.

Certa, a government agency that oversees cyber threats, warned against using all versions of the web browser.

The BBC did not let this message just be. One of our readers wrote to tell us that the BBC advertises new software from Microsoft. “The BBC is falling short,” he wrote. “The Microsofter, Cliff Evans, and the BBC are being misleading to the point where one could almost call it prevarication:” [quote from the above]

Microsoft told BBC News that IE8 was the “most secure browser on the market” and people should upgrade.

Cliff Evans, head of security and privacy, said that so far the firm had only seen malicious code that targeted the older version of its browser, IE6.

“Even though MSIE 8 is just as vulnerable,” points out our reader. Here is the direct link:

Microsoft: upgrade to IE8, even though it’s vulnerable

Microsoft is advising its customers to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 – even though the latest version of its browser is vulnerable to a serious security attack.

The software giant issued a statement urging people to upgrade their browser, after the zero-day exploit that was used to attack companies such as Google went public.

There is also this one in the news:

Internet Explorer vulnerable on Windows 7

So it seems that an Internet Explorer zero day vulnerability allowed the back door to be opened that resulted in the hack attack on Google and many others that has received such publicity this week.

The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones, who is typically very sympathetic towards the convicted monopolist, adds:

This terrible piece of PR for Microsoft comes just as the IE browser which had almost total control of the market starts to come under pressure – not just from the open-source Mozilla Firefox, but from Google’s Chrome.

Regarding the BBC/Microsoft, our reader adds: “This is the same deception used with other vulnerabilities on the same application, other applications and even operating systems. This is costing businesses, governments and people lots of money. In borderline cases, this deception is costing people their livelihoods.”

“Exploit code for potent IE zero-day bug goes wild,” showed The Register (UK) on Friday, demonstrating that Microsoft is still negligent. There is more from The Inquirer, which is also a British publication.

Watch this article from yesterday at The Register (the same issue was pointed out by others):

British government ignores MS browser fears

France and Germany have already told their citizens to avoid Microsoft’s Internet Explorer because of a critical hole in the browser, so what does the British government think?

[...]

Microsoft confirmed that the hole was used in the attacks against Google and 33 other companies believed to come from China.

The British government is deep in the pockets of Microsoft, as we pointed out numerous times before, e.g. [1, 2, 3].

“Dump Internet Explorer Now,” says this new headline from SJVN.

The latest attacks on Google have made it clear. Internet Explorer is a set of security holes masquerading as a Web browser. Get rid of it. Now.

Another person from IDG points out that “Microsoft Support Policies Guarantee Insecure Products” (Microsoft once said: “Our products just aren’t engineered for security”). From the article:

I’ve written it many times before: Nobody is more generous with support lifecycles than Microsoft. Operating system security updates are provided for about 10 years. Are Linux or Mac OS versions from 10 years ago still being updated? The answer is no, and not for a long time.

Combine this with a couple of side-policies of Microsoft’s: They don’t issue new browsers with OS service packs and they support the browser that comes with the operating system and the implication is that browsers also get supported for about 10 years. The technical term for this is “Nearly Unlimited Technical Support” or NUTS.

And it’s not just browsers. Because Windows 2000 is still supported, so is Outlook Express 5.5 (possibly 5.01 as well, I can’t quite confirm it).

That’s not the key point however. When Microsoft is leasing licences to run binaries and charges extra each time these binaries evolve, then no wonder it must handle this support nightmare. Some people stay with older binaries in order to save money. Free software does not have these problems.

Related posts:

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

7 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 19, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Gravatar

    Shouldn’t that title be “More Nations Encourage Compute Security” or something like that?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It seems as though The Register has just made a similar observation (“MS spins IE security disaster into Windows 7 upgrade opportunity”).

  2. your_friend said,

    January 19, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Gravatar

    GNU/Linux and applications and hardware are supported longer than non free software. How many non free applications from ten years ago do people actually have today? Netscape Navigator? Word Perfect? Quatro Pro? File Maker? Software that has owners is the only kind of software that can vanish against the will of users. People run 10 year old versions of Windows because their old software won’t work on new versions of Windows, a unique non free software problem. Free software not only keeps it’s older applications working, such as the 25 year old emacs, it also keeps hardware. There are lively communities working to backport hardware drivers to older kernels, even back to 2.2, for use on older hardware at distributions like DSL Linux. This is support for 10 year old software and it’s support that gives people the latest and greatest version of their favorite software. That kind of mixing and matching is impossible in the Windows world.

    If you look at what Microsoft actually spends, their support boils down to technical and legal efforts to keep their user community out of the source code (“helpless and divided” in FSF parlance), and hyping the resultant stale code. Part of the effort to keep others out is sabotage of “competitor’s products”, all those things that make Windows do anything. These are peculiar failures of non free software. Advice to fix the mess comes at $50/hour.

  3. NotZed said,

    January 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Gravatar

    BTW you could add Australia to that list.http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/19/2795684.htm
    although the spin from the academic in the article (‘no suggestion ie is any worse than any other browser’) and the ‘clarification’ are a bit strange.

    “Free software does not have these problems.”

    Precisely why Linus’ ‘its ok by me to use binary drivers’, Ubuntu (we’re in a popularity contest, not here to free the world) and moonblight are so dangerous. They’re ensuring ‘open source’ will have those problems.

    your_friend Reply:

    New Zealand and France also now advise against IE and they are mentioning “open source” as an alternative [2]. It is too bad that they don’t go all the way and advise people to dump Windows itself. “Browser choice” is a poor surrogate for software freedom and real security.

    The second article spins good browser behavior as non standard. They idiotically call “commands in metadata” and other advert friendly garbage “web standards” and blames Chrome and Safari for not working with user hostile sites. It’s as if they did not hear Murdoch promise to help Microsoft out with their slog against free software and Google.

    Some users, particularly those using Apple Mac, complain that sites “only work with Windows” when, in fact, it’s their browser that’s at fault.

    No, the stupid sites only work with Windows or cutting edge free software. Most users are not willing to download new browsers every six months, so the ultimatum is clear – use a flawed and dangerous browser on top of an even more dangerous OS or you don’t get a bunch of “mainstream” websites. It’s easy to see which side is going to lose and it’s not iPhone or GNU/Linux. Turning customers away is always a losing proposition and insulting them on the way out is a good way to be sure they never come back.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What a reversal. Some years ago, government sites were not at all accessible to Web browsers other than MSIE. South Africa and some other countries still operate such sites.

    your_friend Reply:

    How interesting that a rumor about iPhone going Bing should crop up in the Microsoft press. It’s like Microsoft wants Apple to commit suicide just to prove my point. iPhone would suck if Microsoft could Bung it and that would be a great advertisement for software freedom. Folks in the Ballmer Bunker are dreaming out loud.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IBM's Lennart Poettering on Breaking Software for Pseudo Novelty

    Recently-uploaded ELCE 2011 clip shows a panel with Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, Thomas Gleixner, Paul McKenney, and Lennart Poettering (relevant to novelty or perceived novelty that mostly degrades the experience of longtime users, e.g. Wayland and systemd)



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 15, 2022



  3. Links 15/05/2022: Linux 5.18 RC7 and Calls for More Mass Surveillance

    Links for the day



  4. Audio: Mark Shuttleworth Marketed to Young Males, With Sexy Pictures

    The Web is rotting away, old links become broken links within months or years, so I’ve decided to encode a 3-minute segment of the whole as Ogg



  5. What a Difference Half a Decade Makes (When Linux Foundation is 'Having Fun')

    Media shaming campaigns may have taken their toll on the founder of Linux, who is now bossed by someone who rejects Linux and is married to a Microsoft booster. Like Richard Stallman under FSF guidance (and conditions for return, mostly for fear of further media assaults and attack dogs), he has become a more publicity-shy and private person. The Linux Foundation has in effect reduced the founder of what it’s called after (Linux) into a weekly release manager and mascot, whose brand it is gradually diluting/cheapening.



  6. Links 15/05/2022: GNU libiconv 1.17

    Links for the day



  7. [Meme] Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) Cannot Be Reconciled With the Law

    Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC)? Impossible. But Team UPC counts on an endless torrent of fake news managing to convince you (and more importantly politicians) otherwise.



  8. Even Team Battistelli is Sometimes Admitting -- Out in Public! -- That Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Neither Legal Nor Desirable

    Daniel X. Thomas and other people who are “too old to punish” (consequences to their career profoundly minimised owing to seniority) are among those who push back against the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); any sane person — not a career-climbing litigation zealot — can identify the pertinent facts and realise that what’s going on here is an injustice of unprecedented proportions in the patent discipline



  9. [Meme] Common Sense at EPO

    The European examiners who deal with patents prefer a system that works for science, for Europe, not for foreign megacorporations that amass millions of low-quality patents and weaponise these to discourage competition



  10. Patent Granting at the EPO Has Collapsed by 24% Owing to Much-Needed Industrial Action

    Seeing that the EPO’s management routinely violates the law and even the very legal basis of the EPO’s existence (it is a monopoly in Europe; no body has the authority to compete against it), the EPO’s examiners have embarked on a ‘Work-to-Rule’ campaign — working in compliance with the rules as defined 49 years ago and revised over the decades — and the European Patent Convention (EPC) takes priority over unlawful demands from middle and upper management; this is proving highly effective so far and it will carry on until demands are met, i.e. until the law is obeyed and staff is treated with respect/dignity



  11. [Meme] Milan is a Suburb in London

    As long as Italy is not the UK and London means London “proper” (not the French town called London) the UPCA is invalid and no matter how much Team UPC (and its puppets in EPO management) may plead, this whole system is bound to implode



  12. The Latest Propaganda Tactics of Team UPC: Pretending Unified Patent Court Already Exists and Unitary Patents Are Default When If Fact None Even Exists

    8 years ago Benoît Battistelli said that the UPC was imminent; now, after 4 years of António Campinos, it’s still not here and Team UPC speculators say it won’t happen this year, either; just like the EPO constantly lies (both to the public and to its very own staff) Team UPC continues to lie to itself (self-delusion) and to us; both also routinely break the law, engage in deliberate violations of longstanding conventions, and scrap constitutions, which in turn becomes a breaking point for the EU’s credibility and the legal profession



  13. Links 15/05/2022: More Azure Shutdowns and Windows Security Blunders Aplenty

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 14, 2022



  15. Links 15/05/2022: Pika Backup 0.4

    Links for the day



  16. Changes in the Site and the Capsule

    A 10-minute explanation of what we've been up to lately and what's changing; hopefully I'll have a lot more free time in months to come and we'll be able to produce about a dozen posts per day



  17. Links 14/05/2022: Alt Linux 10.0 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/05/2022: Builder GTK 4 Porting and Raspberry Pi Matrix Dashboard

    Links for the day



  19. Elon Musk is Right About Twitter Faking Its Importance and Using Doctored, Manipulated 'Stats' (or Bots) to Boost Valuation Based on Lies

    Today’s empirical proof that Twitter is totally faking its relevance and reach/influence, based on “Analytics” of my long-inactive account; the SEC will once again — quite likely as usual — let Musk get away with it, killing a company for personal gain as a temporary shareholder who amassed a ton of free publicity (he paid nothing at all and sent the company into a death spiral, pretty much in the same way Microsoft and Icahn did Yahoo! or Microsoft and Elop did Nokia)



  20. Who Brings Home the Bacon (Revenue), Sheela or James (Jim)?

    Sheela (yes, wife of the nontechnical Linux Foundation chief, who equates Microsoft critics with people who kick puppies) has a history working with several companies that are closely connected to Microsoft (not just Bakkt); can that be reconciled as not a conflict of interest?



  21. The 'Original' Linus Torvalds on Self-Hosting

    The fast-aging founder of Linux spoke as shown above (2005); so much has changed since then…



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, May 13, 2022



  23. Links 13/05/2022: NetworkManager 1.38 and Pseudo-Security

    Links for the day



  24. Links 13/05/2022: GCC 12 Becoming Default Compiler in Tumbleweed

    Links for the day



  25. Links 13/05/2022: End of 'About BSD'

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 12, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 12, 2022



  27. Links 12/05/2022: AlmaLinux OS 8.6 and LibreOffice 7.2.7

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] Yes, Minister, Yes!

    We’re meant to think that patents — not sharing — are going to save the world



  29. Central Staff Committee of the EPO Reminds the EPO's Management, Yet Again, That It is Breaking Laws

    Sinking quality of European Patents, plus a Patent Granting Process that is not compliant with the law, quite likely mean the EPO drives straight into a wall; the Central Staff Committee is still trying to save the institution, but management is uncaring and unresponsive (these people typically serve a term and leave, so they couldn’t care less about the long-term viability of their employer)



  30. Formalities Officers Team Managers at the European Patent Office Consider Stepping Down

    Formalities Officers Team Managers at Europe's second-largest institution face a growing list of issues; some are even "considering stepping down," according to internal documents


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts