[Linux-aus] _This_ is a bit of a jawdropper...

Leon Brooks 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?

Cheers; Leon

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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