Published: April 5, 2020 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.
It’s been a long time coming, and that time is now. The once popular Internet Explorer (IE) is plagued with vulnerabilities that lead to easy pickings for hackers and most versions are no longer supported by Microsoft. Security updates and patches are no longer available for IE, other than version 11, and it’s starting to show. A recent report by a security researcher exposes some ugly facts about IE, and these findings should be a huge concern for those still using the browser at work or at home.
According to NetMarketShare, IE users have dwindled to only 7.34% of the current browser market, as opposed to Google Chrome with 65.5% of the market. The security report shows IE is now vulnerable to zero-day exploits in which hackers find a vulnerability in the browser and attack before a security patch or update is available to fix the problem. With Microsoft no longer supporting older versions of IE with any security fixes, it’s safe to assume those vulnerabilities will never be secured. It also opens the door for many more security obstacles down the road. And in this case, the software giant isn’t in any big hurry to develop a patch for version 11 either.
This latest report finds IE has a problem with MHT files, the default way in which the browser saves web pages. These files are open to easy theft by hackers who found a glaring exploit–MHT files can be opened with a simple double-click and do not need any interaction by the IE user. If that’s not enough to convince IE fans to find a new browser, the report finds the browser’s security alert system can also be disabled.
With Microsoft cutting ties with IE, it’s just a matter of time before the once behemoth browser is defunct. In fact, Microsoft claims IE users should no longer even consider it an active browser. It appears IE is going the way of early browsers like Netscape. Ironically, the debut of IE in 1995 is credited with the eventual death of Netscape. Since users should never compromise online security, finding a more updated and secure browser is easy to do, and in the case of IE users, should absolutely be done.
Keeping browsers and all other software updated with the latest security patches as soon as they are available is key to keeping safe online. Any time users find a company has stopped providing security patches and updates is the time to call it quits and find a replacement. As new and better successors are easy to find, there’s no reason to hang onto a browser lifetime that has run its course. Maybe sad but true in today’s cyber universe, it’s time to abandon the IE ship.
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