Skip to main content

U.S. govt. advises people to use browsers other than IE after zero-day flaw is revealed

internet explorer on the rise chrome and firefox lose steam windows 8 ie 11
Image used with permission by copyright holder

After Microsoft revealed that a flaw in Internet Explorer 6 through 11 could allow a hacker to “gain the same user rights as the current user,” the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, suggested that people should turn to another Web browser.

“US-CERT recommends that users and administrators enable Microsoft EMET where possible and consider employing an alternative web browser until an official update is available,” the agency said, via this official blog post.

Microsoft is already working on a fix for the flaw.

“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,” Redmond said in this security bulletin.

However, if you use Windows XP, the version of Internet Explorer you use won’t be patched, leaving you permanently vulnerable to this flaw as long as you continue using IE. If you’re unwilling to upgrade to an operating system that’s still supported by Microsoft, like Windows 7 or Windows 8, you should strongly consider switching to a browser that isn’t vulnerable to this threat, like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. However, it’s worth noting that FireEye, the Internet security firm which claims to have initially discovered the flaw, reported that most of the attacks that have been documented have primarily targeted Internet Explorer 9 through 11.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Image credit:

Konrad Krawczyk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Konrad covers desktops, laptops, tablets, sports tech and subjects in between for Digital Trends. Prior to joining DT, he…
WASD and arrow keys swapped? Here’s how to fix it
Fingers on WASD on a gaming keyboard.

PC gamers are more than familiar with the WASD keyboard layout. The WASD configuration will typically route a game’s directional commands (up, down, left, and right) to the W, A, S, and D keys on a QWERTY keyboard. This arrangement allows the right hand to focus on mouse movement, while the left does all the navigating.

Once in a blue moon though, your keyboard’s WASD and arrow keys can get swapped. Fortunately, the process of switching things back to normal is easy as can be. Let’s take a look at how to fix this little layout problem, as well as what causes the swap to happen in the first place.

Read more
How to save a webpage as a PDF on desktop and mobile
A person sitting down and using a laptop.

You'll probably eventually come across a webpage that you'd like to save for later, and if you save a webpage as a PDF it will stay the same as it is today when you access it again. As a result, converting a webpage to PDF format is an excellent way to record web data as it is for our records, research, and other applications. Here's how to go about it.

Read more
How to set up an out-of-office reply in Outlook on any device
Automatic Replies in Outlook on the web on a Mac.

If you’re going to be away from work on vacation, a leave of absence, or something similar, you may want to set up out-of-office in Microsoft Outlook. This is an automatic reply that lets others know that you’re away and won’t be responding for a particular time period.

The nice thing about automatic replies like this in Outlook is that you can schedule them for the timeframe you need. If you prefer, you can also turn the feature on and off manually.

Read more