Microsoft admit Internet Explorer to blame for Googles' China problemsMikey 18 comments
You just know I couldn't let this new go by un-noticed. Microsoft have that the reason Chinese hackers were able to gain access to systems and cause all the havoc that will probably lead to Google closing operations and severing ties with China, was due to a security flaw in the Internet Explorer web browser. Now you know why I've always affectionately called it Internet Exploiter.
Mike Reavey at the Microsoft Security Response Centre said:
"Based upon our investigations, we have determined that Internet Explorer was one of the vectors used in targeted and sophisticated attacks against Google and possibly other corporate networks"
"Our teams are currently working to develop an update and we will take appropriate action to protect customers when the update has met the quality bar for broad distribution."
Only when it's met the quality bar for broad distribution?
Anyhoo, continuing Microsoft have posted a bulletin about the security flaw, which they say affects Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 on supported editions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Isn't that pretty much all of them? Nearly. All those people still using Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 4 on Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 are unaffected.
Any security expert or aficionado would have guessed IE6 was as fault, and Google are certainly smart enough to know. But it begs the question of who is to blame. Microsoft for continuing to support an outdated web browser which they even recommend people not use even in favour of a competing browser, or Google for not being proactive enough given the knowledge of IE6's renowned lax security. Or maybe no-one is to blame and this is just what we should expect when the big boys play online.
Whichever way you look at it I can't see any law suits on the horizon, but it's got to annoy the heck out of Google even just a little.
Just as a side note, I just checked Microsoft's IE6 update page and was tickled to see this message: "Download it now to start experiencing the best of the Web".
Sure, I'll get right on that.