Some of our agents are justifiably concerned about hacker attacks that incorporate Internet Explorer vulnerabilities. Since Internet Explorer is the browser required for use with the Rapattoni MLS system, please read and take the actions outlined below to eliminate your risk. This is a copy of a response emailed to Rapattoni customers who inquired about potential risks of using Internet Explorer as their browser.
From: Ralph Hoover
Thank you for your e-mail.
Unfortunately it is not possible for us to make the MLS service compatible with alternate browsers such as Netscape and Mozilla at this time. In order for the Rapattoni MLS service to provide the full range of functionality required by our customers, it is necessary for us to standardize the software to work with a single browser.
Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) is the browser of choice for the vast majority of computer users, and Microsoft’s commitment to state-of-the-art browser technology allows us to add new MLS features in a far more timely fashion than would be possible with less frequently updated browsers such as Netscape and Mozilla. Additionally, Microsoft invests more resources in browser security than all other browser developers combined, and this unwavering dedication results in a remarkably secure product despite the fact that it is a popular target for hackers.
The recent concerns surrounding Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Information Server (IIS) stem from an attack that preys upon unpatched IIS installations to spread a virus to vulnerable IE browsers. Due to our rigorous program of maintaining the latest software updates, the version of IIS that our Web servers utilize was not affected by this exploit, and we are pleased to announce that not a single MLS site hosted at the Rapattoni facilities was infected by this attack. This means that even if your copy of IE is vulnerable to attack, it is not possible for your system to be infected by accessing the “clean” IIS system that hosts your MLS site.
The best way to keep your workstations free of these vulnerabilities is to adhere to a regular program of software updates. The Windows Update program available athttp://windowsupdate.microsoft.com may be used to identify and install any security updates required by the Microsoft Windows operating system, including all Internet Explorer patches. Alternatively, you or your system administrator can configure your computer to run these updates automatically.
If you remain concerned about IE security, there are a number of steps that may be taken to further ensure the safety of your systems. First, by accessing the “Security” tab under IE’s “Internet Options” tool, you can set your browser to utilize the “High” security level for the “Internet” zone. Next, you must add your MLS site’s URL to the list of “Sites” in the “Trusted sites” zone. This “High” security setting effectively blocks the vast majority of IE exploits, and assigning “Trusted site” status to your MLS site allows it to operate in this high security environment with no loss of features or functionality.
Additionally, if IE usage is a serious concern for your organization, you may wish to consider limiting IE activity to only your MLS site and using an alternate browser to access all other sites. You can even set your MLS site to be IE’s home page in order to cut down on users unintentionally following links to other sites.
The safety and security of your data is extremely important to us, and our network technicians are constantly working to ensure that the MLS sites we host are regularly updated to maintain the highest possible level of security. Please contact us if you have any further questions.