German government in Firefox warning
Published 23/03/2010 | 09:44
The German government has warned computer users not to use the Firefox web browser until a critical security flaw has been patched
The German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology has advised people to use an alternative web browser, after a Firefox security loophole came to light that could allow cyber criminals to infect computers with malicious software.
Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, acknowledged the existence of the vulnerability, and said that a new version of its browser, with the loophole patched, would be available from March 30. Users can also download a beta version of the patched browser, Firefox 3.6.2.
In January, the German and French governments issued advisories recommending that computer users stop using Internet Explorer because of ongoing security concerns.
"This is the latest in a line of web browser vulnerabilities that web users have had to address," said Graham Cluley, a senior security adviser at Sophos. "Although it's certainly a lot easier for the more computer-savvy of home users to leapfrog from browser to browser than entire companies, such chopping and changing between web browsers can be massively inconvenient.
"Switching your web browser willy-nilly as each new unpatched security hole is revealed could cause more problems than it's worth. And it's worth asking – what are you going to do when your replacement browser itself turns out to contain a vulnerability? Are you going to switch yet again?
"My advice is to only switch from Firefox if you really know what you are doing with the browser you're swapping to. If you stick with Firefox, apply the security update as soon as its available."