The German Government has issued a warning against using Microsoft’s signature browser Internet Explorer (IE), and recommended its citizens to find an alternative to it.
The word of warning from the nation’s Federal Office for Information Security (BIS) comes after the software giant admitted to security snags in the IE that enabled the hackers to infiltrate security of the networks of several companies, including Google and Adobe.
However, Microsoft has spurned the German Government’s warning as too severe, claiming that the enhanced security settings in the browser would check such intrusions, and that the risk to the users was low.
Thomas Baumgaertner, a spokesperson for Microsoft Germany, was adamant about the warning, claiming that the attacks on Google were carried out by “highly motivated people with a very specific agenda”, and that the attacks weren’t aimed at general consumers and users.
The company further went on to suggest that the security holes can be plugged by setting the browser’s security level to “high”, although this restricts the functionality and bans several websites.
However, in spite of the security measures suggested by the software giant, the BSI was pessimistic about the security-level of the IE.
Along the same line, the regulatory body noted: “Using Internet Explorer in 'secure mode,' as well as turning off Active Scripting makes attacks more difficult, but cannot fully prevent them”.
That is a pretty powerful disincentive for users and could prove to be a watershed moment in the short period web browsers have been around. For a government to clearly and decisively advise its own flock from leaving a free product for alternative seems to be kind of desperate.