Thursday, February 11, 2010

Expert makes "stupid" comment.

"I'd switch out of Internet Explorer, if you use it. Serious flaws are regularly discovered in IE. I recommend Firefox, although there are other good browsers."

One more computer "expert" who ignores the simple fact that serious flaws are regularly discovered in all browsers. The only reason IE is a greater vulnerability is because it is the default browser on the most popular OS in the world. Those who write malware target the largest user base. In areas where alternative browsers and OSes are gaining a greater user base there is also a growing trend targeting users of those systems.

In fact, much of the malware that spreads via browsers is browser independent. This class of malware relies on social engineering scare tactics and not browser vulnerabilities. In this respect, people running Windows and IE are less vulnerable because they do not have the false sense of security that comes with someone running a different OS or browser.

For a comparison, I refer you to this story on cnet, This article discusses Mac vs. PC, but take it to the next level and you also get IE vs. alternative browser. From the article: "More than half of Americans believe that PCs are 'very' or 'extremely' vulnerable to cybercrime attacks, while only 20 percent say the same about Macs", "Mac users are victims of cybercrime just as frequently as PC users", "Mac users are just as vulnerable to Web-based attacks like phishing as PC users are, and Mac users who fall prey to phishing tend to lose more money on average than PC users do" and "Viruses are a diminishing percentage of what we're seeing ... A lot of attacks have to do with social engineering and that kind of attack is platform agnostic."

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