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Thu 18 Dec 2008 06:00 PM

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Computer industry fights own 'war on terror'

Microsoft's Middle East chief tells of "never-ending battle" against hackers.

In the wake of a major Internet Explorer security alert which left millions of users vulnerable to attacks by hackers, a Microsoft senior executive told Arabian Business on Thursday that the fight against cyber-criminals was “like the war on terror”.

Vice president of Microsoft Middle East & Africa, Ali Faramawy, who is also vice president of Microsoft International, said that the company and the industry as a whole face “a never-ending battle against people who are continuing to try to look for ways to cause harm”.

Microsoft this week issued an emergency security update for its Internet Explorer to fix a loophole in the browser, which was dubbed “zero-day”, that allowed hackers to take control of users’ computers to access sensitive information.

Faramawy said that Microsoft has always been committed to the security of its browsers, which was one of the reasons behind the introduction of automatic update system.

“We’ve gone very, very deep on the security elements to the extent that we have been criticised at times about what we have been trying to do with security and how tight we made some of the things,” said Faramawy.

“You tighten things up and you tighten things up. You will be able to stop so many things before it happens but from time to time something bad may happen.”

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