Germany urges public to stop using Internet Explorer
By Harro Ten Wolde and Jim Finkle
FRANKFURT/BOSTON (Reuters) - The German government urged the public on Tuesday to temporarily stop using Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer following discovery of a yet-to-be repaired bug in the Web browser that the software maker said makes PCs vulnerable hacker attacks.
It issued the warning as a researcher said he found evidence that suggests the hackers who exploited the flaw were seeking to attack defense contractors.
Microsoft said on Monday that attackers can exploit the bug in its Internet Explorer, used on hundreds of millions of computers, to infect the PC of somebody who visits a malicious website and then take control of the victim's computer.
The German government's Federal Office for Information Security, or BSI, said it was aware of targeted attacks and that all that was needed was to lure Web surfers to a website where hackers had planted malicious software that exploited the bug.
"A fast spreading of the code has to be feared," the German government said in its statement.
BSI advised all users of Internet Explorer to use an alternative browser until the manufacturer has released a security update.
Officials with Microsoft did not respond to a request to comment on the move by the German government, although the company downplayed the impact of the flaw in a written statement.
"There have been an extremely limited number of attacks," said company spokeswoman Yunsun Wee. "The vast majority of Internet Explorer users have not been impacted." Continued...