Corporations have been warned against using old Web browsers to access the Internet.

Using obsolete software is a common and potentially dangerous practice in business environments, Internet solutions firm Kaspersky Lab has said.

Releasing the results of a survey on browser usage patterns, Kaspersky said the majority of cyber attacks are launched from the Web, utilising vulnerabilities in the Web browser applications.

An outdated plug-in too could be used to gain entry into computers.

IE MOST POPULAR

Using anonymous data collected from its cloud-based network, the Russian firm analysed usage patterns of lakhs of its customers across the world.

Internet Explorer emerged the most popular browser with 37.8 per cent of users using it, followed by Google’s Chrome with 36.5 per cent and Firefox with 19.5 per cent.

“We found that 23 per cent of users are running old or outdated Web browsers, creating huge gaps in online security.

“About 8.5 per cent users run obsolete versions. When a new version of a browser is released, it takes more than a month for most users to upgrade. But cyber criminals need only a few hours to exploit some vulnerabilities,” Andrey Efremov, Director of Cloud Infrastructure Research, said in the analysis.

While a good number of users make a switch within a month, more than a quarter make no attempt to upgrade.

“We see an alarming situation. Millions of vulnerable machines are being constantly attacked using new and well-known Web-borne threats,” he said.

kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 9, 2012)
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