Microsoft 24 hours late with IE8 pwn protection

 

 

                    

 

Just one day after a little-known hacker dazzled his peers by exploiting the latest version of Internet Explorer 8 beta, Microsoft added an important protection to the browser that probably would have prevented the attack.

The measure, which was added to last Thursday’s final release of IE8, restores so-called ASLR, or address space layout randomization, and DEP, or data execution prevention, to the Microsoft browser. Microsoft has more about that here. Continue reading

Is the geek love affair with Firefox waning?

 

I remember a time not that long ago when most geeks agreed that Firefox was the best browser (oddly enough, I was still using IE because I wasn’t impressed by Firefox’s stability and resource usage). Since then things have changed a lot. All the major browsers have become a lot better, and as a result of this some who were previously loyal Firefox users are making the switch to other browsers.

Keir Thomas of PC World has the following to say:

This is an exciting time for Web browsers. Google Chrome is now available in alpha for Linux, and I downloaded it for Ubuntu. Despite the fact that I was running it on my rather underpowered Dell Mini 9, it started in the blink of an eye. Additionally, any JavaScript-heavy sites like Gmail or Google Docs were so responsive that it’s almost unbelievable. Continue reading

Chrome beats the hackers in annual browser bash

The Pwn2Own competition, which is held every year to challenge hackers and security experts to find vulnerabilities in web browsers and mobile devices, has taken its usual share of victims with one surprise survivor during its first day.

Targeted browsers included Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Google’s Chrome, running on a Sony Vaio notebook running Windows 7 as well as Safari and Firefox on a Macbook running OS X.

Continue reading

Chrome last browser standing after day one of Pwn2Own

       

Google’s Chrome browser is the last web browser standing after day 1 of Pwn2Own. Does this make you reassess your daily browser?

A recent contest at CanSecWest, an event that brings together some of the most skilled experts in the security community, has demonstrated that the three most popular browser are susceptible to security bugs despite the vigilance and engineering prowess of their creators. Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer were all exploited during the Pwn2Own competition that took place at the conference. Google’s Chrome browser, however, was the only one left standing—a victory that security researchers attribute to its innovative sandbox feature.

I have to admit that while Chrome isn’t my default browser, I’m  quite fond of it. Its ability to handle countless tabs and Windows being open (as long as you have enough RAM) is far superior to any of the other big browsers. It’s also very stable and I’ve never had a crash that’s managed to take out all the tabs or make the wheels fall off the OS. The fact that Chrome’s survived day 1 of Pwn2Own makes me think that Google could set the security benchmark in much the same way that it is currently the speed pace setter.

Sure, Chrome doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that other browser have (and no add on support like Firefox) but it’s a fast, robust, and i seems secure bit of code.

Chrome is a browser worth keeping an eye on.

by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Related Post 

IE8 launch bumps browser’s market share by 30%

                      

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) received a small bump in market share Thursday as the company launched the final version mid-day, according to Web measurement company Net Applications.

IE8’s market share averaged 1.63% for the day Thursday from noon Eastern time onwards — when Microsoft posted the new browser for download — a 21% increase over March’s daily average of 1.35% through Wednesday. Net Applications has posted hourly market share numbers for IE8 on its Web site.

The browser’s share climbed again Friday, to an hourly average of 1.75% through 11:00 a.m. ET, bringing IE8’s total increase to 30% over the month’s daily average.

Even with that kind of increase, Vince Vizzaccaro, Net Applications’ executive vice president of marketing, was critical of Microsoft’s low-key launch. “I was a little surprised that there wasn’t any advanced warning,” said Vizzaccaro, “and no marketing push from Microsoft about IE8. At the minimum there should have been something for IE users that popped up and said ‘there’s an upgraded browser available … download it.'”

IE8’s market share climbed above the 1% mark for the first time last month, when it accounted for 1.2% of all browsers used. That boost had been fueled by the last January launch of the browser’s release candidate.

By comparison, Google’s Chrome, which debuted last September, had a 1.15% market share during February, while Mozilla’s Firefox — IE’s biggest rival — owned 21.77% of the business.

“Chrome got off to a fast start,” said Vizzaccaro, “but it really hasn’t moved much since then. And they had a low-key approach when they launched it, too. On the other hand, Mozilla made lots of noise about Firefox 3.0, with a special download day, and they got millions to download it.

“Microsoft is doing the same thing that they’ve done with browsers in the past, but that didn’t work for Chrome,” Vizzaccaro said. “If I were Microsoft, I would do something more on the Mozilla model. I’d be a lot more optimistic [about IE8’s chances] if there was a large public announcement that it was available.”

Microsoft debuted the final edition of IE8 for Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 Thursday, upgrading the browser for first time in two-and-a-half years.

Overall, Internet Explorer controls 67.5% of the browser market, according to Net Applications’ numbers, which are collected from the systems that surf to some 40,000 sites that the company tracks for clients. Almost three out of every four IE users run 2006’s IE7, while nearly all of the remainder run the even older IE6.

Currently, IE8 is available only as a manual download from Microsoft’s main download center and the IE8 page. The company will begin automatically installing the new browser on machines now running IE6 or IE7 at some unspecified future date, at which point its market share will undoubtedly climb.

By Gregg Keizer

Related Post Microsoft IE8 Now Available

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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