Firefox – no longer the safer alternative to IE?

January 3, 2008

Firefox - no longer the safer alternative to IE? A hacker’s just exposed a Mozilla Firefox security flaw – one that makes phishing far too easy and clueless Net users far too vulnerable.

Aviv Raff exposed the flaw on his website; he demonstrated how easily phishers could spoof information displayed in that very basic familiar authentication dialog box. Hapless users could key in their IDs and passwords without realising that their personal data was being sent to unwanted.

With Firefox gaining more acceptance among Internet users, it would make sense that the browser would get more attention from would-be cybercriminals. Before, Firefox stalwarts would gleefully point out IE’s shortcomings where security was concerned but it seems that Firefox is catching up not just in user takeup but security weaknesses.

Now, it would be easy to point-and-laugh but the reality is, it’s always a catch-up game now with Net hackers. Their increased sophistication and evolution from brute-force to putting social engineering know-how into practise makes it even more difficult to protect personal data from criminals. Hackers are taking advantage of the fact that it’s far easier to get sucked into a phisher’s cunning disguised pages than to maintain complete, all-encompassing security on your PC.

There isn’t a product on the market that can keep all your security bases (anti-virus, spyware, firewall, privacy, parental controls) adequately covered in one-go. Most people find themselves having to use multiple products, being unable to rely on just one. And even if they could, could you imagine the hassle of learning how to properly configure it? That would be the security Holy Grail – something that would keep your PC totally safe with little to no effort on your side.

The only other alternative would be disconnect from the Net altogether. But in an age where that just isn’t an option, at least there are still people like Aviv Raff to remind us that on the Net, security can never be taken for granted.

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One Response to “Firefox – no longer the safer alternative to IE?”

  1. Embedded:

    I see this only from my authentication of my linksys router. Basically I agree this is a social engineering issue. Don’t respond to this except when you really know where you are.

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