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Examples of Internet Security Flaws and Loopholes

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Aaron R.•updated: 7/30/2010

Do you think using an salternative browser prevents malware infection? Are you concerned about Internet Explorer security flaws? Read this article to find out which versions of IE are not secure to use anymore.

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    Internet Explorer Security Flaws

    500px-Internet Explorer wordmark.svg Internet Explorer has been subjected to many different security concerns which prompted organizations and governments to recommend switching to alternative browsers. The problem is often found in the old and not patched versions of IE. The most affected versiosn of Internet Explorer are version 6 and below due to a lack of security features that the newer version has.

    You will notice security reports, advisories and bulletins for Internet Explorer from researchers and from the vendor, Microsoft. When a researcher reports Internet Explorer security flaws, it is checked and rated for severity by Microsoft or a third-party vulnerability tracking coordinator, such as SecurityFocus or Secunia. The security rating depends on whether there are known or unknown exploits in the wild, require or do not require user interaction, if sensitive data is exposed and/or if the attack is locally exploitable only.

    Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Microsoft Corporation (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Internet_Explorer_wordmark.svg)

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    Example Security Flaws in IE

    Examples of security flaws in Internet Explorer that have been rated for criticality are as follows:

    You will notice that I did not provide an example of security flaws in IE that have high or extremely critical rating. This is because all security issues in IE with the said rating have been fixed by the vendor. At the time of this writing, Secunia reports 4 security issues in IE8 that are not yet fixed while IE7 and IE6 have 10 and 23 vulnerabilities, respectively that have not been patched. None of these not patched vulnerabilities have high or extreme severity ratings. Older version of IE are obviously insecure to use

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    Does Using an Alternative Browser Prevent Malware or Exploits Caused by Security Flaws?

    No. An alternative browser should be used, if you like the way that another browser works. It’s a user’s choice on which browser you prefer in using. Using an alternative browser does not prevent security problems because other browsers have vulnerabilities as well, that are not fixed yet. Also, other browsers has been affected too by malware infections and browser hijacks.

    Browser vendors and developers highly recommend upgrading to newer versions of their installed browser. New versions of browsers are less vulnerable; They have fixes and improved security features to defend against known security flaws.

    Third-party software in your computer may be using IE or its modules and components to function. Using an old version of IE is not recommended because it will be affected, no matter how it is configured.

    Always install the latest security updates for Windows and use up-to-date security tools such as antivirus and firewall software to help protect your computer and data.