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Originally posted July 1 2004 at 11:07 under Computing and Web. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.

Using IE Win? Your Money Safe?

If you browse the web using IE on windows (like the vast majority of the population unfortunately do) then you should be very, very careful. The internet technical savvy of you may want to read this report (PDF). For the other, more general consumer I’ll summarise. The linked document describes the process by which a simple, innocuous popup ad installs a nice little program onto your windows machine, without you knowing anything about it. The program then sits there and doesn’t do a lot. Except every time you make (what you think is) a secure connection to a long list of banking websites, it collects your username, password, etc and sends them onwards to people who, I assure you, aren’t connected with the bank. Nice.

This sort of thing is becoming more and more common. People (like me) who mention these exploits aren’t trying to scare you (well, I suppose we are a bit) but educate you. The only reason the above works is because it uses the security nightmare that is Internet Explorer. Don’t use it. Get yourself a better, more secure browser for looking at the internet (try Firefox). And keep your hard earned wealth safe.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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