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Internet Explorer Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-045 - Critical

 11:03 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Internet Explorer Microsoftlink [microsoft.com] Security Bulletin MS08-045 - Critical
This security update resolves five privately reported vulnerabilities and one publicly disclosed vulnerability. All of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.



 11:23 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Anyone here who still uses IE for anything other than viewing their own pages for rendering behaviour, please raise your hand...

Anyone...? Anyone...? Bueller? Bueller?


 11:29 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

i use it solely as internet radio slave application:-))


 11:31 pm on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Anyone here who still uses IE for anything other than viewing their own pages for rendering behaviour, please raise your hand.

Oh sure, get us all to snitch on ourselves? That wouldn't be real smart now, would it? ;)


 1:43 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

umm ... yeah ... for windoz updates as well, *but only* because MOH still hasn't completely nutted out our new Ubuntu setup, which is the test bed. And you can be sure we'll ditch our XP OS once we're confident everything we have works as it should. ;-)


 2:14 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have made it practice to use IE at office atleast 1 hour everyday to ensure everything is working fine in IE.

I use 4 browsers, FF (80%) - IE (15%) - Safari (3%) - Netscape (2%) ... I will have to log into various accounts, so I use various browsers. FF rocks!


 2:17 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let me ask, what happens when FF becomes the target of choice? Their market share has reached the level where they are now susceptible to the same level of abuse that MS has been under for many years. While you guys/gals are welcome to knock MS all you want, FF will soon take that crown and then we can have a Front Page full of FF Security Bulletins. Keep it up! MS Haters! ;)

And I'm using FF at this moment. I also have IE open. Many sites don't work well in IE these days. It wasn't long ago that I would have been saying the same thing about FF. Now its the other way around. Most of the Social Media sites FAIL in IE.


 2:30 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>Many sites don't work well in IE these days.

Exactly right, and there's still 80% plus usage, especially among non-tech people and on non-tech sites. Even some sites belonging to CSS gurus with highly cited authority sites who also write books on CSS don't work in IE (6 or 7). And incidentally, some of O'Reilly's pages don't work with IE. Pages related to books on CSS and website authoring and architecture, mind you.

[edited by: Marcia at 2:39 am (utc) on Aug. 13, 2008]


 4:26 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use ie for compatibility checking. Too bad, I need to use it as well for transactions with a bank that does not work with ff. :(


 6:00 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use IE more often than not so that I see the web that 75% of the world sees as opposed to the one seen by 25%.

Kind of makes sense if you're a web developer now doesn't it? ;-)

Visit Thailand

 6:41 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I do not use anything but IE. I enjoy using IE 7 and it works fine, even looking forward to IE 8.

When the other browsers become less of a fashion, or rebelious statement against microsoft, and more of an actual need with much greater features then is available in IE, maybe, just maybe I will switch.

I have never come across a site that did not work well in IE and if I did I would go elsewhere. But like I said I am not a fashionable social site, facebook sort or person

.............i'll run and hide now............

[edited by: Visit_Thailand at 6:43 am (utc) on Aug. 13, 2008]


 6:44 am on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

@pageoneresults valid points. FF has been hit a number of times in the past year with published vulnerabilities. But, it isn't as tightly integrated into the OS, so it is less likely to cause serious damage to your computer as a whole if it's compromised.

That said, the magic number for me to move on from FF as my daily browser is 35% market share (an arbitrary choice). By the time it reaches that level of saturation, the malware writers will be devoting enough attention to it that it will no longer serve as a secure alternative.

Fortunately, Konqueror, Opera, and other alternative browsers are maturing nicely. There will always be a "small target" browser out there. IE will remain a large target browser for as long as Windows remains the dominant OS.

A fractured browser market, beyond the duopoly (ten cent word alert) we are currently seeing, will be beneficial for web development in general, forcing developers to build cross browser compliant sites.

It will also be good for web security. It will force malware writers to divide their resources. Various attacks will have a smaller effect, hitting a smaller percentage of users.

The same security benefits can be said about a more diverse OS market.

Anyway, it's more fun to pick on "Big Bad MS" than it is to pick on Mozilla, the scrappy underdog. I'd spend more time rooting for Opera, but it has such an elitist sounding name. Beyond that, Opera has some damn fine features for developers right out of the box. And it plays nice with Symbian.


 6:11 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well said Ian Kelly, I agree totally. Don't piss against the wind!

If a site doesn't work in IE what does that say about its webmaster? Very clever because it works in Opera?!

And why is there a move to FF? Ask the proleteriat and the answer I get is "because it's different". Not because it's more secure.


 6:30 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Even some sites belonging to CSS gurus with highly cited authority sites who also write books on CSS don't work in IE

Yeah, almost every one I look at. And blog themes, a heck of a lot of bloggers don't realize their blogs break in IE. Guess they only write for FF users.


 6:37 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ian / Grelmar - As of July 2008, W3Schools is reporting FF usage rates at 42.6% (up 8.1% from the same time last year). Whether or not you trust their statistics is up to you ;)

Either way, it's certainly in the market for being attacked at this point. Like grelmar says, though, it's not so tightly integrated with the OS, so it's still arguably more secure than IE.

Still, I'm excited for IE8; also, I wonder what the one publicized vulnerability is.


 6:41 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>As of July 2008, W3Schools is reporting FF usage rates at 42.6%

I've seen their figures. But that doesn't represent the average internet user; it represents those who are interested in a school on webmaster related topics. What a lot more people are interested in is not folks learning webmastering skills, but folks who are out there looking to buy stuff.

Webmasters compete. Consumers buy. That's the bottom line.


 7:31 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wow, a bunch of Firefox snobs around these parts.

Anyways, I will continue to use the dominant browser because that is what most of my customers use and I want the same experience as them. If Firefox becomes the leading browser, I will switch to it for the majority of my browsing.


 8:15 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yep, Marcia
There's an occasional flap around out shop (travel related) when one of our clients' customers is a Firefox user and our software doesn't work for them. And it's the Mac Firefox users who are characteristically the most affronted, quoting the rising percentages of Mac owners, and that they should be accommodated.

We always say that it doesn't matter how many Mac Firefox users there are-- Web stats show that the people who actually USE the software are less than 1.5% Mac Firefox, Win Firefox 7.86%.

We're not about to write software for 10% of the users.

Mac Safari? 2.05%


 8:26 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ah, thanks Marcia. I feel like a fool, now; I took W3's data to be a compilation from various sources. Never read the disclaimer at the bottom of them. Not once in a few years of checking every now and again.

Rugles - Just for clarification, I'm primarily an Opera user. I advocate Firefox because it is a flat-out better product than IE is. I advocate Firefox to customers, friends, and family because it is a quality product. There is not a person left amongst my close group of friends who use IE after having tried Firefox. I don't use it because Opera is a better product, and I don't advocate Opera because it's a much more significant shift for regular users coming from IE7.

I understand the desire to make sure that your customers are having a great experience, but we do so at the expense of further stagnating the development of the web. If we spent a few minutes advocating firefox (or even just upgrading) to consumers we know we'd save ourselves a million headaches down the road. Remember that word of mouth thing?

But no, we don't want to upset the sea of money that is consumers. Progress means change, and change has the potential to be bad, rite?


 8:31 pm on Aug 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

The wikipedia article on browser usage is nice because it includes stats from a wide variety of sources.


 2:03 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

I guess I'm part of the minority here as well. 99% of the time I'll be working with Internet Explorer.

It does get a little frustrating at times when something is going so well only to be completely broken once viewed in another browser, but after a while you begin to recognize where the complexities are.

Simply out of habit, and personal choice, I don't think I could change my default browser but even if I could, there's just no conceivable way to do it.

All our extranet/intranet applications which have been built on the SharePoint framework barely function in anything other than IE. All enhanced features are completely disabled. Our time sheet application just hangs on the login page. My bank app instantly redirects me to a "recommended browser" page. There's also a slew of other sites that simply see FX (not FF) as another fad random browser.


 5:37 pm on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Interesting topic which made me take a look at one of our largest clients and their Google Analytics data.

This client sells a non-technical product (gas fireplaces) so it draws what I would consider the average surfer, although to be specific, the average Adult surfer since teens, tweens & 20'somethings probably aren't shopping for a gas fireplace.

Over a 12 month period (Aug 01/07 - Aug 01/08) they received 120,000 visitors (93,700 unique). 97% of this was from North America.

The top 5 browsers & operating systems are:

1. Internet Explorer / Windows 97,314 76.55%
2. Firefox / Windows 14,740 11.59%
3. Safari / Macintosh 8,671 6.82%
4. Firefox / Macintosh 3,135 2.47%
5. Netscape / Windows 1,786 1.40%

This mirrors smaller data samples I looked at with other clients, as well as my own sites. I have seen FF usage grow, but minimally. I think it's growth really is amongst tech-savey and younger surfers. Personally I use IE about 60% and FF the remaining 40%.

I am curious if being outside of North America changes the %. For example, do surfers in Asia prefer FF at a greater rate? I simply don't have the international traffic to analyse.



 9:24 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use Internet Explorer probably 99.99% of the time. I simply do not like Firefox. I only bring up Firefox, Safari or whatever else I happen to have on hand to check my own websites. My sites appear identical in every way no matter which browser I use, but I also don't build in any tricky stuff. Just plain Jane HTML & CSS and a few images.

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