Internet Explorer Dons Proactive Approach To Fighting Scams

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Australians using an older version of Internet Explorer will be enrolled into a programme that automatically updates the browser to the latest version available.

The ‘silent’ updates will commence from January 2012, with the BBC claiming millions of computers will benefit from automatic future updates.

The move is in response to scammers who masquerade as an IE update, with people unknowingly being conned. Microsoft’s security intelligence report recognises cyber criminals deliberately target users with old or out-dated software and then trick them into installing fake updates.

Those who do not want their browser updated have the choice of opting out, or uninstalling IE altogether.

“The Web overall is better – and safer – when more people run the most up-to-date browser,” wrote Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s IE boss, in a blog post.

Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos, believes the move will help Microsoft migrate users with out-dated browsers to the most up-to-date version.

 

“Microsoft has been struggling with browser stragglers for years,” he said in a statement.

Australia and Brazil are the first two countries to have the update programme rolled out. People with Windows XP will be upgraded to internet explorer 8, while users of Vista and Windows 7 will be updated to the new IE 9.

Although IE 7 is likely to survive, the BBC claims Internet Explorer 6 is likely to be killed off after its decade lifecycle.
Microsoft figures suggest 8.3% of users globally still use the obsolete browser, with the number biggest in China, where approximately 28% of people continue to use it.

IE continues to dominate globally with 52% market share according to net research firm Net Applications. Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox follow as they battle it out for second place.
 
Only Windows users with automatic updates turned on will be enrolled in the programme. Microsoft has also said tools will be developed to help people avoid or uninstall the browser updates if they prefer to stay with an older version.

 

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