The recent zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer caused many (present company included) to urge Internet users to consider surfing the Web with a different browser until Microsoft issued a patch. Microsoft did so last month, but not before experts who ought to have known better began downplaying such advice, pointing out that other browser makers have more vulnerabilities and just as much exposure to zero-day flaws.
This post examines hard data that shows why such reasoning is more emotional than factual. Unlike Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox users, IE users were exposed to active attacks against unpatched, critical vulnerabilities for months at a time over the past year and a half.
The Wikimedia Foundation last week warned that readers who are seeing ads on Wikipedia articles are likely using a Web browser that has been infected with malware. The warning points to an apparent resurgence in adware and spyware that is being delivered via cleverly disguised browser extensions and plugins that are bundled with other software or foisted in social engineering schemes.
Facebook is attempting to dismantle a new social networking worm that spreads via an application built to run seamlessly as a plugin across multiple browsers and operating systems. In an odd twist, the author of the program is doing little to hide his identity, and claims that his “users” actually gain a security benefit from installing his software.
At issue is a program that the author calls “LilyJade,” a browser plugin that uses Crossrider, an emerging programming framework designed to simplify the process of writing plugins that will run seamlessly across multiple browsers and operating systems, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. The plugin spreads by posting a link to a video on a user’s Facebook wall, and friends who follow the link are told they need to accept the installation of the plugin in order to view the video. Users who accept the terms of service for LilyJade will have their accounts modified to periodically post links that help pimp the program.
Adobe has released a public beta version of its Flash Player software for Firefox that forces the program to run in a heightened security mode or “sandbox” designed to block attacks that target vulnerabilities in the software.
Sandboxing is an established security mechanism that runs the targeted application in a confined environment that blocks specific actions by that app, such as installing or deleting files, or modifying system information. The same technology has been built into the latest versions of Adobe Reader X, and it has been enabled for some time in Google Chrome, which contains its own integrated version of Flash. But this is the first time sandboxing has been offered in a public version of Flash for Firefox.
Underground hacker forums are full of complaints from users angry that a developer of some popular banking Trojan or bot program has stopped supporting his product, stranding buyers with buggy botnets. Now, the proprietors of a new ZeuS Trojan variant are marketing their malware as the first offering that lets customers file bug reports, suggest and vote on new features in upcoming versions, and track trouble tickets that can be worked on by the developers and fellow users alike.
Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla all released updates on Tuesday to fix critical security flaws in their products. Adobe issued a patch that corrects four vulnerabilities in Shockwave Player, while Redmond pushed out updates to address four Windows flaws. Apple slipped out an update for its version of Java that mends at least 17 security holes, and Mozilla issued yet another major Firefox release, Firefox 8.
Adobe today issued more than a dozen security updates for its Acrobat and PDF Reader programs, including a feature update that will install future Reader security updates automatically. In addition, Adobe has shipped yet another version of its Flash Player… Read More »
A French security research firm boasted on Monday that it had discovered a two-step process for defeating Google Chrome’s sandbox, the security technology designed to protect the browser from being compromised by previously unknown security flaws. Experts say the discovery, if true, marks the first time hackers have figured out a way around the vaunted security layer, and almost certainly will encourage attackers to devise similar methods of subverting this technology in Chrome and other widely used software.
In an advisory released today, VUPEN Security said “We are (un)happy to announce that we have official Pwnd Google Chrome and its sandbox.” The post includes a video showing the exploitation of what VUPEN claims is a previously undocumented security hole in Chrome v.11.0.696.65 on Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 (x64).
Adobe Systems Inc. said today the next release of its free PDF Reader application will include new “sandbox” technology aimed at blocking the exploitation of previously unidentified security holes in its software.
Mozilla’s Plugin Check Web site, which inspects Firefox browsers for outdated and insecure plugins, now checks other browsers — including Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, Opera, and (to a far lesser extent) even Internet Explorer.