On Friday, Microsoft announced it had discovered a security flaw in Internet Explorer
, used by over 900 million people, that could potentially affect every single user of the browser, regardless of version, on Windows XP, Vista and 7. The flaw rests with how the browser handles MHTML
files. Microsoft said an attacker could use a simple HTML link to launch malicious code that could collect user data or redirect the browser to phishing sites. Microsoft has released a temporary security patch
that simply blocks attempts to use the exploit, but it does not actually fix the flaw. While IE fans are busy installing hacked-together patches for a serious security flaw that, according to Ars Technica, was reported back in 2007
, those using alternative browsers like Chrome
are sitting pretty. In addition to being just plain better, faster browsers, they're also more secure. In fact, Safari
, Chrome and Firefox don't even support MHTML files, a weird Web format cooked up by Microsoft back in 1999 that allowed webpages to be saved to a single file, even if they contained elements normally separated from HTML, like Flash video and images.
If you must
use Internet Explorer (and we know some of you have no choice), we strongly suggest you install the temporary fix (found here
) now. If you have a choice, though, we continue to urge you to pick an IE alternative. You'll not only be safer, but you'll probably have a much more pleasant browsing experience.