Monday, October 9

IE7 and how much it sucks

I wrote this article on isc.sans.org... i got lots of MS zealot feedback saying that I was bashing.

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Thanks to one of our readers that wrote in to tell us that IE7, will be released this month via Automatic Update according to Microsoft's "IEBlog".

Unfortunately, it's still based on a similar code base, and will still hold the majority of market share. So, this brings me to the point of the article which I had originally intended..

My advice? Diversify. Use other browsers. I use Safari, Firefox, and Opera. I own zero Windows based computers, but I have access to thousands. I suggest you out there in 'reader land' switch to something else. Unless we see empirical evidence that IE7 is vastly more secure and superior.. it will wind up like its predecessors.

Yes, I know that on some corporate environments, its impossible to switch. There are applications that are dependent on IE. But I blame the Application Developers. Code to more open standards, try not to use ActiveX controls. Other browsers don't use them, and they work fine. I had a reader write in and say that in their environment (healthcare), they are dependent on IE. My wife works in healthcare, so I feel your pain. I know, I know, its unfortunate, sometimes corporate rollouts of Firefox..et all.. are not possible, however, give it a shot.

I used to work in an environment where IE was necessary for a couple of things. So, we used IE for those two things, and Firefox for the rest. My whole diary entry can be summed up in one line: "Where you don't HAVE to use IE, don't."

II have received alot of feedback since I wrote the initial article. Most people don't like the fact that I am saying that IE's security is lacking. It's fact. Everything has vulnerabilities. Every OS, every product, every browser. I have been cited, publicly stating that if Apple was 95% of market share and Microsoft was 5%, who is to say that the roles wouldn't be reversed. Hackers target the 70% of the browser market (IE) because that's the MAJORITY of what is out there. However, if the roles were reversed, who is to say that it wouldn't be backwards? Who is to say that there wouldn't be hundreds of thousands of vulnerabilities for Apple out there? Yes, I think that Apple is inherently more secure, (I use macs), but that's not to say that if the tables weren't turned we wouldn't have a different result.

In other Microsoft News:
Microsoft rewards Adware programmer with MVP status. Link here

Reader Dan writes in to tell us:
"You may also want to note that Firefox even has a plug-in available to open certain links in IE. This makes it even easier to follow your advice of only using IE when you absolutely must." -- https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/35/

Update #1
Mentioned native apps.

Update #2
Mentioned Feedback

Update #3
Clarifying the article for it's original intention: Diversification.

Update #4
Added MS MVP article

Updated #5
Added Firefox plugin

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I still say I'm right.

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