Internet users are being warned off Internet Explorer after it was revealed that recent sophisticated cyber attacks on Google and other businesses exploited a previously unknown flaw in Microsoft's web browser.
Germany's Federal Office for Information Security, or BSI, told Germans to avoid use of all versions of Explorer after the security hole led to hacks against Google and others.
Microsoft confirmed the weakness after Google announced that hackers in China had pried into email accounts of human rights activists. However, the company said that the hole could be closed by setting the browser's internet security zone to "high".
But the BSI insisted that such measures were not sufficient.
"Using Internet Explorer in 'secure mode', as well as turning off Active Scripting, makes attacks more difficult but can not fully prevent them," BSI said in a statement.
Google said last week that in mid-December, it detected an attack on its corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of its intellectual property. It eventually found that more than 20 other companies had been infiltrated.
Security firm McAfee said on Thursday that those who engineered the attacks tricked employees of the companies into clicking on a link to a website that secretly downloaded sophisticated malicious software onto their PCs through a campaign that the hackers apparently dubbed "Operation Aurora".
More to be read on the actual site, but beware, you are at risk if you are using IE.