New vulnerability endangers Internet Explorer users

By: Doug Zbikowski

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UPDATE (May 1, 2014, 1:30pm ET): Microsoft has released an emergency patch for the Internet Explorer vulnerability. In a surprise move, they also released an update for Windows XP! Head over to Windows Update to get it.

A new bug has been discovered that could put Internet Explorer users at serious risk. Until the problem is fixed security experts are calling on users to switch to an alternative browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. In a rare move, the US Government is advising to users to switch to another browser until Internet Explorer is fixed.

On April 26th, 2014, Microsoft announced that all versions of Internet Explorer are at risk for “drive-by” attacks from malicious websites. This new vulnerability, dubbed CVE-2014-1776, has the potential to give hackers direct access to your computer, allowing infected web sites to install malicious applications, create new Windows accounts, and change or delete data stored on the computer. Disturbingly, these attacks have actually been observed in the wild by Internet security firm FireEye, who started observing this type of attack as early as February. Microsoft says attacks seem to be coming from websites that feature advertisement feeds or user-provided content where an attacker could insert malicious code. At this time it is unknown whether Microsoft will release an emergency patch or wait until patch Tuesday on May 13th to fix the vulnerability. Continue reading “New vulnerability endangers Internet Explorer users”

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XP Users: Alternatives to Internet Explorer 8

I was just reading an article about old web browsers holding back the Internet. It’s a bit technical, but the gist of it is people want the Internet to be easy, intuitive, and instant. Technology is a balance: if you want something very easy and user-friendly on the user’s side, it often has to be very complicated and advanced on the designer’s side.

For example, when digital video came out in the 1990’s, you needed a lot of special hardware, software, and patience to watch a tiny video clip. The quality was often grainy, sound was out of sync, and there were a lot of adjustments the users had to do to make the video viewable. Today, we often watch several videos every day on a computers, and they’re plastered everywhere.  You don’t have to download anything or own any special equipment — you just click “Play” and the video starts.

Behind that simple play button is a lot of advanced technology. File compression, video encoding, bit-rate streaming, automatic resolution settings, and a bunch of other technical mumbo-jumbo are all in play behind the scenes to bring you this video. This technology took years to develop and continues to improve. However, any improvements need to have the proper tool to implement them. Older tools aren’t going to work, so it’s important to keep up to date. Continue reading “XP Users: Alternatives to Internet Explorer 8”

Internet Explorer 8’s Last Hurrah?

Google Services to Stop Supporting IE8 on Nov. 15th, 2012

Those still using Microsoft’s older Internet Explorer 8 will not be able to use Google services after Nov. 15 until they upgrade to a more modern browser.

Google made the announcement last week on its Apps Blog as part of its on-going commitment to keep products up to date. Google firmly believes older products introduce  more security flaws, and newer browsers provide the best user experience.

“We support the latest version of Google Chrome, as well as the current and prior major release of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version of one of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version,”” Google mentioned in the post

Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) will be introduced on Oct. 26.  Google will therefore stop support for IE8 on Nov. 15, according to their blog post. IE8 users can expect to see a notice telling them to upgrade to a newer version after that date. Users of TOAST.net’s residential email system, as well as Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government will be affected. Continue reading “Internet Explorer 8’s Last Hurrah?”

Mozilla: We Don’t Do Enterprise. Google: WE DO!

The IT world is mad at Asa Dotzler, and with good reason.

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, has increased it’s production schedule in a big way: it’s pushing new versions out the door in months instead of years, and ending support on it’s previous versions in the interim.

This is great for home users as they get the latest and greatest on a regular basis. In the business world however, rapid releases are bad news. Web browsers have to be tested for compatibility and security by IT departments, and this process can take weeks…months…even years in some cases. So what happens when the browser manufacturer your company bases its web platform on decides to create major releases every few months? Chaos. Continue reading “Mozilla: We Don’t Do Enterprise. Google: WE DO!”

Google To Give Old Browsers the Boot

Old BrowsersGoogle announced last week Google Apps will begin phasing out support for outdated web browsers. Beginning August 1st, only the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari are to be supported. Continue reading “Google To Give Old Browsers the Boot”