Germany urges citizens not to use Internet Explorer

A recently discovered exploit in some versions of Internet Explorer web browser has caused the German government to tell its citizens to use alternatives, at least for now. The exploit, which was first reported over the weekend and confirmed by Microsoft Monday, is apparently already being used by hackers to deliver the "Poison Ivy" malware via a back door method.

Reuters reports that the German government's Federal Office for Information Security issued a statement that urged PC users in that country to use alternative web browsers until Microsoft releases a software fix. The statement added, "A fast spreading of the code has to be feared."

The malware can be delivered by hackers via websites that use Flash to delivery the program, thanks to a "zero-day" security hole. The issue affects IE7, IE8, and IE9 on Windows XP, Vista and 7.

In a security alert on Monday, Microsoft said that it was investigating the issue and added, "On completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to protect our customers, which may include providing a solution through our monthly security update release process, or an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs."

In the meantime, Microsoft said that IE users should take precautions such as applying all software updates, establishing a firewall on their PC and updating their anti-virus software.

Source: Reuters | Image via Microsoft

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41 Comments

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Germany do this every time there is a know isseus with IE, but never when there are problems whit Firefox, Chrome or Opera. or any other browser.

Studio384 said,
Germany do this every time there is a know isseus with IE, but never when there are problems whit Firefox, Chrome or Opera. or any other browser.

Really? Maybe the others just don't get the same press coverage

GS:mac

Soon they'll start to remove kids from families for using "unsecure" Internet Explorer and send people to prison for "hate speech" for talking about Firefox security issues.

lexp said,
Soon they'll start to remove kids from families for using "unsecure" Internet Explorer and send people to prison for "hate speech" for talking about Firefox security issues.

Can't tell if joking or very very paranoid.

GS:mac

cmon microsoft! ie should be as stable as chrome or firefox. also, why does the german government even need to take this initiative in the first place?

I still use IE. the 10th version is incredibly fast and fluid. I just want microsoft to get their heads out of their arses and allow more customization and add in browser visual add-ons, more add-ons, etc.


German government's Federal Office for Information Security issued a statement that urged PC users in that country to use alternative web browsers until Microsoft releases a software fix

Until it happens again, and again, and again. Surely, it's easier to just switch to Firefox, Chrome, or Opera permanently, than chopping and changing back and forth all the time.

Edited by simplezz, Sep 19 2012, 12:39am :

simplezz said,

Until it happens again, and again, and again. Surely, it's easier to just switch to Firefox, Chrome, or Opera permanently, than chopping and changing back and forth all the time.


Opera doesn't scan it's downloads so can do with it unless someone can provide me with some info.

very bad for the german gov to do this. even with the current situation ie9 is far more secure than chrome ever will be. ie10 is the most secure browser there is period.

korupt_one said,
very bad for the german gov to do this. even with the current situation ie9 is far more secure than chrome ever will be. ie10 is the most secure browser there is period.

How can it be more secure when malware can be installed simply by visting a website? That's the definition of insecurity. I don't know how you can possibly claim it's somehow safer given how many times this happens.

Anyone with half a brain should have dumped IE years ago.

simplezz said,

How can it be more secure when malware can be installed simply by visting a website? That's the definition of insecurity. I don't know how you can possibly claim it's somehow safer given how many times this happens.

Anyone with half a brain should have dumped IE years ago.


Me and most of the family dropped it long ago and i always suggest a non ie based browser. IE based shells are just as bad.

Who one does the German government actually recommend? Firefox or Opera?

When other browsers have security exploit, do the German government also urge people not to use them?

illegaloperation said,
Who one does the German government actually recommend? Firefox or Opera?

When other browsers have security exploit, do the German government also urge people not to use them?


Last time I checked Chrome.

Firefox had long been recommended, especially in the earlier days... not sure about now.

GS:lin

Glassed Silver said,

Last time I checked Chrome.

Firefox had long been recommended, especially in the earlier days... not sure about now.

GS:lin


awful decision by the German government to recommend Chome

illegaloperation said,

When other browsers have security exploit, do the German government also urge people not to use them?

Security exploit != zero day exploit that's actively being used. Security exploits come out all the time, the difference is, IE is actually successfully targetted by malware and websites.

simplezz said,

Security exploit != zero day exploit that's actively being used. Security exploits come out all the time, the difference is, IE is actually successfully targetted by malware and websites.


Because the os uses parts of it instead of it being seperate. Using parts of a web browser to power your os is only asking for trouble. Instead use something which doesn't use a net connection, and that part could be optional.

Do they also urge customers not to use other browsers when flaws are discovered? I imagine it's pretty hard to live by the German government's recommendations when it comes to software, if that's the case.

I'm glad governments finally take a more pro-active stance to educate the general population about the dangers of the internet. The Dutch government has been doing the same thing the last few years through television and radio ads, to a lesser degree printed media.

.Neo said,
I'm glad governments finally take a more pro-active stance to educate the general population about the dangers of the internet. The Dutch government has been doing the same thing the last few years through television and radio ads, to a lesser degree printed media.

Please.

This is the German government criticizing a non-German-sourced browser - actually somewhat understandable. (Further, the EU's position viz. IE is far from news; they have been campaigning, albeit mostly in the background, for Opera and other EU-sourced browsers.)

They actually have cover for it (security, as opposed to blatant nationalism/regionalism) - as has NOT been the case prior.

.Neo said,
I'm glad governments finally take a more pro-active stance to educate the general population about the dangers of the internet. The Dutch government has been doing the same thing the last few years through television and radio ads, to a lesser degree printed media.

How come it doesn't contain a link to download Microsoft Security Essentials from Microsoft?

PGHammer said,

Please.

This is the German government criticizing a non-German-sourced browser - actually somewhat understandable. (Further, the EU's position viz. IE is far from news; they have been campaigning, albeit mostly in the background, for Opera and other EU-sourced browsers.)

They actually have cover for it (security, as opposed to blatant nationalism/regionalism) - as has NOT been the case prior.

Your theory is funny if you consider that Chrome got recommended as a browser choice to Germans by the same German Federal Office for Information Security.

Hehe...

GS:lin

Glassed Silver said,

Your theory is funny if you consider that Chrome got recommended as a browser choice to Germans by the same German Federal Office for Information Security.

Hehe...

GS:lin


I am quite shock. The Germans recommend browser with spyware build-in?

If there's a serious security hole in whatever browser people are allowed to know. The Dutch government for one has never done any promotion whatsoever to use a specific browser.

illegaloperation said,
How come it doesn't contain a link to download Microsoft Security Essentials from Microsoft?

Contact Germany's Federal Office for Information Security? I have no idea whatsoever why you expect me to answer that question.

.Neo said,
I'm glad governments finally take a more pro-active stance to educate the general population about the dangers of the internet. The Dutch government has been doing the same thing the last few years through television and radio ads, to a lesser degree printed media.

Did they do the same for the other browsers when the java exploit was around? oh no that's right the EU only troll Microsoft, The EU don't know jack **** about security.

Toysoldier said,
Did they do the same for the other browsers when the java exploit was around? oh no that's right the EU only troll Microsoft, The EU don't know jack **** about security.

Yeah, actually a popular consumer protection show on public broadcasting (funded by the government) did do an item on how to disable Java in browsers after the exploit was found. I believe it was on certain governmental websites as well. So why won't you just be quiet about things you don't have the slightest clue about?

Edited by .Neo, Sep 18 2012, 11:50pm :

.Neo said,

Yeah, actually a popular consumer protection show on public broadcasting (funded by the government) did do an item on how to disable Java in browsers after the exploit was found. I believe it was on certain governmental websites as well. So why don't you just be quiet about things you don't have the first clue about?

Doesn't mean they know anything about security, many people need to use IE so why not educate them how to disable flash? people have been getting ratted with Poison Ivy for years now so nothing new here.

Toysoldier said,
Did they do the same for the other browsers when the java exploit was around? oh no that's right the EU only troll Microsoft, The EU don't know jack **** about security.

Here's the Dutch governmental website advising people about the Java exploit:
http://www.waarschuwingsdienst.nl/ID/WD-2012-076

Even someone like you should be able to figure out the article refers to OS X, Linux and Windows instead of singling out Microsoft.

illegaloperation said,

I am quite shock. The Germans recommend browser with spyware build-in?

They should just recommend that everyone should upgrade to windows 8 and use ie10, the most secure browser there is, period. Chrome is one of the least secure browsers out there.

Toysoldier said,
Doesn't mean they know anything about security, many people need to use IE so why not educate them how to disable flash? people have been getting ratted with Poison Ivy for years now so nothing new here.

Don't try to cover up your own ignorance. You claimed there were no warnings for the Java exploit and EU governments are only out after Microsoft. I proofed your wrong. Period.

.Neo said,

Don't try to cover up your own ignorance. You claimed there were no warnings for the Java exploit and EU governments are only out after Microsoft. I proofed your wrong. Period.

No you are wrong I NEVER said there were no warnings about the flash exploit.

I was asking if they said don't use X browser due to java exploit, they didn't instead they showed how to fix it, but when its IE only they cry wolf, why not just disable flash?

Toysoldier said,
No you are wrong I NEVER said there were no warnings about the flash exploit.

I was asking if they said don't use X browser due to java exploit, they didn't instead they showed how to fix it, but when its IE only they cry wolf, why not just disable flash?


If you read my post properly you'd notice I was talking about Java, not Flash.

"Did they do the same for the other browsers when the java exploit was around? oh no that's right the EU only troll Microsoft, The EU don't know jack **** about security."

That's what you said. You asked a question and answered it yourself with "no". I gave you a link showing where the Dutch government warned people about Java on all platforms. Not just Windows or Internet Explorer, thus proofing you wrong. Apparently you also have an incredibly hard time understanding the difference between the EU, Germany and governmental bodies of other EU member states, pretending they're all the same thing.

Edited by .Neo, Sep 18 2012, 11:07pm :

.Neo said,

Edited by .Neo, 38 seconds ago :

hahahaha well it appears have a hard time understanding too, that's why you had to edit the part about the EU.

PS: The Java exploit affected multiple browsers or multiple platforms. Why you're still asking why they didn't tell the general public only to stop using Safari (per example) is beyond me.

Toysoldier said,
hahahaha well it appears have a hard time understanding too, that's why you had to edit the part about the EU.

Enjoy pulling up those smokescreens?

.Neo said,
I'm glad governments finally take a more pro-active stance to educate the general population about the dangers of the internet. The Dutch government has been doing the same thing the last few years through television and radio ads, to a lesser degree printed media.

The Canadian Gov ain't doing sh*** good but then they all want power and will make lies up to keep power.