Warning – IE7 released – Dangerous Bugs Abound

broken-computer-196x150-shadow.gifWeb Designers and Web Design Clients alike be warned:

IE 7 was released this week and already numerous bugs putting users at risk of phishing attacks, spoofing attacks, and disclosure of personal information (amongst many others), have been discovered.

Microsoft has always had a bad habit of releasing software before it was finished. This release of IE doesn’t even fix the previous versions flaws. It makes some of them worse. Here’s the list of the most dangerous flaws so far:

  • It allows a pop-up window to be generated that looks exactly like the address bar so people won’t know what site they are actually on – an excellent tool for phishing attacks.1
  • It mishandles certain URL’s allowing people to view all sorts of personal data. 2
  • The Microsoft IE download site itself has already been spoofed at least once. 3
  • It’s Active X component still hasn’t been fixed yet. Companies large and small are making spyware “toolbars” for the new browser and some that had partnerships with the Desktop Monopoly, like Yahoo, already have theirs ready. And yes just about every toolbar for IE sends personal information to wherever the people who made it want and they share it with anyone they have a “marketing relationship” with. I call that spyware, Microsoft calls that good business.

This is just within the first few days folks!

There are numerous other not as dangerous flaws with IE7.
It promises enhancements to support web standards (such as HTML 4.01/CSS 2), but they just make the bloatware even more bloated. Keeping with Microsoft tradition, they are implemented in a way that tries to force Web Designers and Web Developers into choosing between writing code for IE or writing code for all the other browsers. All the other browser currently make up about 20-40% of the audience of my network of web sites, With tech sites it’s even higher. With Web sites about Web Design, Web Development, Web programming and the such, it’s higher still.

Microsoft says it’s going to be forcing downloads of IE 7 this week, to users of Microsoft update. But as I always do 9and recommend anyone who asks) manual updates of Windows, I browsed through the different updates and it wasn’t listed as an option as of yet. Given Microsoft track record with deadlines, it’s probably just late though.

And so, as always, warn all newbie about windows update’s forced downloads. Its true Windows update is a necessary evil, but you not, under any circumstances blindly accept everything they offer.

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