Microsoft IE8 Now Available

                       

Microsoft on Thursday released Internet Explorer 8, a new version of its ubiquitous Web browser, adding features which the US software giant claims makes it safer and loads pages faster.

Internet Explorer 8 was available for downloading in 25 languages starting on Thursday at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8, the Redmond, Washington-based computer software giant announced in a statement.

Microsoft said IE 8 was faster than previous IE browsers and included “leading-edge security features in direct response to people?s increasing concerns about online safety.”

“Customers have made clear what they want in a Web browser — safety, speed and greater ease of use,” Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said.

“With Internet Explorer 8, we are delivering a browser that gets people to the information they need, fast, and provides protection that no other browser can match,” he said in a statement.

Microsoft said page load times had been speeded up in IE8 and the new version of the browser blocks “two to four times as many malicious sites as other browsers on the market today.”

Internet Explorer is the world’s leading Web browser.

According to the Internet research firm Net Applications, IE had a total browser market share of 67.5 percent in January.

Mozilla’s Firefox was next with 21.53 percent, followed by Apple’s Safari with 8.29 percent and Google Chrome with 1.12 percent.

Microsoft’s dominance of the browser market through IE and operating systems through Windows has drawn the attention of anti-trust authorities in the United States and Europe.

Earlier this month, Microsoft said a control panel in its next-generation of Windows will let users shut off IE8 and other built-in programs.

The announcement came less than two months after the European Commission accused Microsoft of unfairly tying IE to Windows.

Opera Software filed a complaint with the commission in 2007 accusing Microsoft of denying Windows users “a real choice of browser.”

Mozilla and Google also objected to the bundling of IE with Windows, with Google calling the IE-dominated browser market “largely uncompetitive.”

Source: AFP Global Edition

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Researcher cracks Mac in 10 seconds at PWN2OWN, wins $5K

Charlie Miller defends his title; IE8 also falls on Day 1 of hacking contest

March 18, 2009 (Computerworld) Charlie Miller, the security researcher who hacked a Mac in two minutes last year at CanSecWest’s PWN2OWN contest, improved his time today by breaking into another Mac in under 10 seconds.

Miller, a principal analyst at Independent Security Evaluators LLC, walked off with a $5,000 cash prize and the MacBook he hacked.

“I can’t talk about the details of the vulnerability, but it was a Mac, fully patched, with Safari, fully patched,” said Miller Wednesday not long after he had won the prize. “It probably took 5 or 10 seconds.” He confirmed that he had researched and written the exploit before he arrived at the challenge.

The PWN2OWN rules stated that the researcher could provide a URL that hosted his or her exploit, replicating the common hacker tactic of enticing users to malicious sites where they are infected with malware. “I gave them the link, they clicked on it, and that was it,” said Miller. “I did a few things to show that I had full control of the Mac.”

Two weeks ago, Miller predicted that Safari running on the Mac would be the first to fall.

PWN2OWN’s sponsor, 3Com Inc.’s TippingPoint unit, paid Miller the $5,000 for the rights to the vulnerability he exploited and the exploit code he used. As it has at past challenges, it reported the vulnerability to on-site Apple representatives. “Apple has it, and they’re working on it,” added Miller.

According to Terri Forslof, the manager of security response at TippingPoint, another researcher later broke into a Sony laptop that was running Windows 7 by exploiting a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8. “Safari and IE both went down,” she said in an e-mail.

TippingPoint’s Twitter feed added a bit more detail to Forslof’s quick message: “nils just won the sony viao with a brilliant IE8 bug!”

Forslof was not immediately available to answer questions about the IE8 exploit.

TippingPoint will continue the PWN2OWN contest through Friday, and will pay $5,000 for each additional bug successfully exploited in Apple Inc.’s Safari, Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla Corp.’s Firefox or Google Inc.’s Chrome. During the contest, IE8, Firefox and Chrome will be available on the Sony, while Safari and Firefox will be running on the MacBook. The researcher who exploited IE8 will, like Miller, be awarded not only the cash, but also the laptop.

“It was great,” said Miller when asked how it felt to successfully defend his title. “But I was really nervous for some reason this time. Maybe it was because there were more people around. Lucky [the exploit] was idiot-proof, because if I had had to think about it, I don’t know if I’d had anything.”

This year’s PWN2OWN also features a mobile operating system contest that will award a $10,000 cash prize for every vulnerability successfully exploited in five smartphone operating systems: Windows Mobile, Google’s Android, Symbian, and the operating systems used by the iPhone and BlackBerry.

Miller said he won’t enter the mobile contest. “I can’t break them,” said Miller, who was one of the first researchers to demonstrate an attack on the iPhone in 2007, and last year was the first to reveal a flaw in Android. “I don’t have anything for the iPhone, and I don’t know enough about Google.”

Opera CEO称IE 8浏览器继续破坏网络标准

Opera Software首席执行官Jon von Tetzchner本周公开表示,微软的IE8浏览器还将继续破坏网络标准。这使得Opera必须继续浪费时间和金钱更新网站用于IE 6和IE 7。这也意味着,微软继续对网络施加不正当的影响和破坏。
多年来,微软已经以自己的IE浏览器引擎建立了自己的网络标准。这就迫使网站设计者要建立一个同时兼容于IE浏览器和其他的浏览器。这就扭曲了市场。

值得注意的是,尽管微软在IE 8已采纳了万维网联合会的HTML 5和CSS 2.1,但它没有采用已使用于Mozilla,谷歌,和Opera的SVG。

Jon von Tetzchner暗示,IE8真的到来的时候,不管它提供支持什么样的标准,其投诉缺乏对网络标准的支持会促使欧盟调查微软。这种情况现在已经引起了谷歌和Mozilla的支持。