Now the French government is advising people to stop using IE

Well, well. Even I’m surprised by this.

Following in the footsteps of Germany last week, France is now advising its population to use an alternative browser pending a patch for an Internet Explorer vulnerability.

The French Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) published an advisory on Friday January 15 stating “pending a patch from the publisher, CERT recommends using an alternative browser.” In the advisory Internet Explorer 7 and 8 are both listed despite Microsoft confirming the vulnerability is only exploitable on Internet Explorer 6.

Last week the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI) issued a similary advisory urging its population to stop using IE. According to the BSI the flaw will, put simply, “perform reconnaissance and gain complete control over the compromised system.” The BSI noted that even running Internet Explorer in Protected Mode isn’t enough to stop the flaw. Microsoft issued further insight into the vulnerability this morning in a company blog posting. The software giant confirmed the exploit is only effective against Internet Explorer 6.

Wonder if French and German users will pay any attention to this.