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Why Is The Government Worried About The Internet Explorer Bug? – ‘The Why’

Welcome to today’s edition of The Why.

Everywhere you look the media is pushing you telling you who to follow, what to watch and when to watch it.   You’re even sometimes told how to do it all.  Truth is, here at American Live Wire we do a bit of that too.  The big difference is we also tell you why.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

“Why is the government worried about the Internet Explorer bug?” you ask? Good question . . . and topical, too. But first, for those not up on current events, let’s review. This past weekend, Microsoft sent out word that a big security flaw in its Internet Explorer Web browser.

why is the government worried about the Internet Explorer bug

Why is the government worried about the Internet Explorer bug? /Image: QResolve

(Your rockin’ writer’s computer guy knew about this for some time but apparently it takes the corporate geeks quite some time to catch up.) Specifically, Microsoft’s press release stated the flaw exists in versions IE6 through IE11. They told users that “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user.”

So what does that have to do with the feds? As soon as they got the word the Homeland Security Department put out its own memo, telling federal government employees to use “an alternative Web browser” because this recently revealed vulnerability “could lead to the complete compromise of an affected system” which could, of course, lead to major embarrassments for government employees at best and something along the lines of the first Terminator movie someday at the worst.

While this might be a bit facetious in an attempt to garner giggles, in truth a weakness such as this is serious for the US government which, according to various online sources, often sticks with older tech equipment. Mind you, Internet Explorer is technically not “old” since it’s regularly updated.

Still, it’s not losing market share “just because”. Developers are quickly jumping ship too because IE makes web pages look different than other browsers and –again—as hinted at above IE has a significant history of security glitches. One online expert referred to it as “the Hotmail of Web browsers.”

So, why is the government worried about the Internet Explorer bug? Because they have just figured out that there could be major consequences to using this popular albeit very vulnerable browser.  Some online sources claim that government employees are twice as likely to currently be utilizing Internet Explorer as other users.

Those up on tech news may also recall reading that at least 10 percent of computers used by the US government also use Windows XP. Microsoft won’t even patch and fix IE there because they discontinued the operating system.

Why is the government worried about the Internet Explorer bug? Because our federal computers contain way too much important information to risk a security breach. Even one small hole in a seemingly insignificant government computer could lead to chaos.

Why is the government worried about the Internet Explorer bug? Because the world runs on computers and in light of such things as the Heartbleed bug—which even took out your friendly neighborhood American Live Wire for a bit recently—it is a risky time to be on an unprotected browser. It’s even worse when our own government is online there using discontinued equipment.

“Why is the government worried about the Internet Explorer bug?” Now you know.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

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“Why is the government worried about the Internet Explorer bug?”

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.