Microsoft released the latest version of its Internet Explorer Web browser on Wednesday with the hope that a slew of new security features will help reduce the threat of online attacks aimed at the software giant's customers.
The company's Internet Explorer 7 does not allow ActiveX scripting by default, has a security status bar and filters out known and suspected phishing sites. In addition, a protected mode give extra security to users' data by separating untrusted Web applications from the data and system files on the computer.
"We listened carefully to our customers and are delivering a safer browser that makes the tasks they do every day much easier," Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft, said in a statement.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer is the Web browser most targeted by online attacks, according to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, which found that 47 percent of attacks in the first half of 2006 targeted Internet Explorer. Another 31 percent targeted vulnerabilities in multiple browsers, including Internet Explorer, the report stated. Symantec is the parent company of SecurityFocus.
In 2006, researchers and online attackers highlighted a number of critical flaws in Internet Explorer. The browser has had to deal with zero-day attacks and patches that opened up other vectors for attackers to exploit. Some network administrators and critics of Microsoft have called for enterprises to replace IE with some other browser.
Internet Explorer 7 can be downloaded from Microsoft's site.