Sep. 28th, 2009

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On Saturday we had to make an emergency trip over to Teri's mother's place so I could look at her computer. She thought she had a bad virus. Since I'd installed all of her security software, I was concerned.

It turned out, though, that she wasn't infected. She was getting an attempt to infect her system, one of those browser-exploit bogus antivirus attacks. Fortunately she didn't click on anything, and her security software was up-to-date enough that her system wasn't infected.

But I made an interesting discovery. I'd installed Firefox on her system, and told her to use that instead of Internet Explorer. Nonetheless she was using IE when she nearly got infected. She was looking for directions to an event in Rhode Island; IE was defaulting to searching with Bing, and Bing was bringing up a malware/exploit site within the top three results. That's what my mother-in-law clicked on.

But when I used the exact same search terms in Google, that exploit site DIDN'T appear; the correct site did, instead. So Bing seems to be more hacker-friendly than Google. And she certainly didn't select Bing; Microsoft must have done it for her. So just to be safe, I replaced the guts of her IE program with Google's Chrome Frame. That's a neat feature that speeds up IE and makes it more secure and modern. It's also a brilliant way for Google to undermine IE and replace it.


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