Germany and France Tell People to Stop Using Internet Explorer

January 19th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Internet Explorer

Representatives of the German and French governments recommended its citizens to stop using the Internet Explorer after it was revealed that a security loophole within Microsoft’s web browser was used by hackers to exploit Google Inc. and other companies.

Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) posted on its official website an advice for a "temporary use of alternative browsers" after finding out that a "critical security hole" in Microsoft’s software that could allow hackers to remotely insert and run malicious codes on Windows-based PCs.

In a separate announcement, the CERTA office of France recommended to use alternative browsers until a corrected version of Internet Explorer becomes available.

Meanwhile, Microsoft challenged the recommendations, saying that customer should instead upgrade their IE to the latest version, the Internet Version 8.  The software giant also said the malicious code created that hacked many websites has been effective only against Internet Explorer 6.  Users who insist on keeping older IE versions were advised to adjust the browser’s security settings to "high."

Representatives of Microsoft are currently under talks with the French and German agencies, along with other government organizations, to assure them that IE’s security issues are current and up-to-date.

And what may seem to be Microsoft’s loss has turned out to be other browsers’ gain.  Norway-based Opera Software ASA claimed a spike in the number of downloads in Germany of its Opera browser, doubling to about 18,000 a day.