[Linux-aus] _This_ is a bit of a jawdropper...
leon at cyberknights.com.au
Tue Jul 6 08:25:01 UTC 2004
Are the Browser Wars Back?
How Mozilla's Firefox trumps Internet Explorer.
By Paul Boutin
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004, at 11:03 AM PT
I usually don't worry about PC viruses, but last week's Scob
attack snapped me awake. The clever multi-stage assault, carried
out by alleged Russian spam crime lords, infiltrated corporate
Web servers and then used them to infect home computers. The
software that Scob (also known as Download.ject) attempted to
install on its victims' machines included a keystroke logger.
[...] CNET reporter Robert Lemos zeroed in on why the attack was
so scary. "This time," he wrote, "the flaws affect every user of
Internet Explorer." That's about 95 percent of all Net users. No
matter how well they had protected themselves against viruses,
spyware, and everything else in the past, they were still
vulnerable to yet another flaw in Microsoft's browser.
Scob didn't get me, but it was enough to make me ditch Explorer
in favor of the much less vulnerable Firefox browser. Firefox is
built and distributed free by the Mozilla Organization, a small
nonprofit corporation spun off last year from the fast-fading
remnants of Netscape, which was absorbed by AOL in 1999. Firefox
development and testing are mostly done by about a dozen Mozilla
employees, plus a few dozen others at companies like IBM, Sun,
and Red Hat. I've been using it for a week now, and I've all but
forgotten about Explorer.
You've probably been told to dump Internet Explorer for a
Mozilla browser before, by the same propeller-head geek who
wants you to delete Windows from your hard drive and install
Linux. [...] the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a
partnership between the tech industry and Homeland Security,
recently took the unusual step of advising people to consider
switching browsers. Whether or not you do, US-CERT advises
increasing your Internet Explorer security settings, per
Microsoft's instructions. (Alas, the higher setting disables
parts of Slate's interface.) Even if you stop using Explorer,
other programs on your computer may still automatically launch
it to connect to sites.
[...] Mozilla also makes a free e-mail program called
Thunderbird and a calendar tool called Sunbird, if you want to
avoid using Outlook and Outlook Express, two other virus
carriers. They're nowhere near as feature-packed as Outlook,
but the e-mail client includes a spam filter that works pretty
well after you train it on four or five thousand messages—in
my case, one week's mail.
My goodness, what's the world coming to when Microsoft's own magazine
not only recommends switching away from their products to FOSS
alternates, but has done so themselves and describes how satisfied they
are with it?
http://cyberknights.com.au/ Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/ Vice President, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/ Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/ Past Committee Member, Linux Australia
http://osia.net.au/ Member, Open Source Industry Association
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