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Index > Heap > There are now more Firefox users than IE6 users

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drhowarddrfine



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 535
drhowarddrfine
Threatens IE7
Quote:
The study points to many users opting to use Firefox or an alternative browser rather than opting for IE7

NetApps shows the same thing.
Post 05 Mar 2009, 23:07
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comrade



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
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comrade
Impressive. I guess too bad for you Mozilla is non-profit, non-publically traded entity?
Post 05 Mar 2009, 23:09
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
comrade wrote:
Impressive. I guess too bad for you Mozilla is non-profit, non-publically traded entity?
I would hope that it is doing well because it is non-profit.
Post 05 Mar 2009, 23:57
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HyperVista



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
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HyperVista
I'm only speculating and don't know for certain, but I imagine the shift away from IE has to do in part with the high number of malicious attacks against it. IE is the focus of malware writer since it was the most used browser. If so, we will likely see an increase in Firefox exploits in the future.
Post 06 Mar 2009, 02:01
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Borsuc



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
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Location: Bucharest, Romania
Borsuc
HyperVista wrote:
If so, we will likely see an increase in Firefox exploits in the future.
Aw man, those "immigrants" should stay home in their sucky IE country and leave us Firefox users alone and not bring their disease with them Mad

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Post 06 Mar 2009, 03:46
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drhowarddrfine



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 535
drhowarddrfine
HyperVista wrote:
I'm only speculating and don't know for certain, but I imagine the shift away from IE has to do in part with the high number of malicious attacks against it. IE is the focus of malware writer since it was the most used browser. If so, we will likely see an increase in Firefox exploits in the future.
Attacks against IE are more numerous because IE is part of the operating system. Firefox, and all other browsers, are not. If you get into IE, you are into the OS.

Web developers despise IE. Up to 50% of my time is spent getting IE to properly work with modern, standard code. Customers pay for that time but, to me, it's plain aggravation since I feel like I'm writing it twice. Once for every other browser and again for IE.

IE8 will be about 11 years behind web standards when it gets released this month (probably).
Post 06 Mar 2009, 12:31
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HyperVista



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
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HyperVista
drhowarddrfine wrote:
Attacks against IE are more numerous because IE is part of the operating system. Firefox, and all other browsers, are not. If you get into IE, you are into the OS.

Point well made.
Post 06 Mar 2009, 14:22
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comrade



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
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comrade
drhowarddrfine wrote:
Attacks against IE are more numerous because IE is part of the operating system. Firefox, and all other browsers, are not. If you get into IE, you are into the OS.


That makes no sense. IE is a user-mode application that ships in-box with Windows. How is exploiting it gain entry into the OS? Will exploiting calc.exe do the same?

Furthermore, IE runs in low-integrity on Vista. As far as I know Firefox does not.

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Post 06 Mar 2009, 23:14
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drhowarddrfine



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
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drhowarddrfine
User mode, schmoozer mode, it's not the same as Unix. Access to the OS through IE is prevalent but I've forgotten how it's done on Vista but there are more vulnerabilities in IE than all other browsers combined.

But why bother with IE when any other browser is more secure and has far more advanced features now than Microsoft is even planning for? It makes no sense to be using IE and there are only disadvantages.
Post 07 Mar 2009, 13:48
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comrade



Joined: 16 Jun 2003
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comrade
Consider this argument over unless you start backing up what you are talking about.
Post 08 Mar 2009, 10:59
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drhowarddrfine



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
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drhowarddrfine
I already did. I showed you that IE has far more vulnerabilities despite being in "user mode". I said I've forgotten how that works in Vista but I guess I have to google this to remember so I can explain it to you, huh?
Post 08 Mar 2009, 15:56
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drhowarddrfine



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
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drhowarddrfine
Well, that didn't take long. It's called "Protected Mode" and, for Internet Explorer, this is what Microsoft says:
Quote:
While Protected Mode does not protect against all forms of attack, it significantly reduces the ability of an attack to write, alter, or destroy data on the user's machine or to install malicious code.


Here's what CERT has to say about protected mode:
Quote:
This protection happens when the user runs the Internet Explorer web browser application. But what about when another application such as Microsoft Word uses Internet Explorer components to render web pages? No more Protected Mode! So in the attack vector described above, the code will execute with the privileges of the user that is running Microsoft Word. By indirectly using Internet Explorer by way of Microsoft Word, attackers are able to bypass IE's Protected mode.
Post 08 Mar 2009, 16:02
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Azu



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1160
Azu
comrade wrote:
drhowarddrfine wrote:
Attacks against IE are more numerous because IE is part of the operating system. Firefox, and all other browsers, are not. If you get into IE, you are into the OS.
How is exploiting it gain entry into the OS?.
Because it is the only program allowed to directly modify the Windows kernel even in Vista (hence no Windows update in Firefox/Opera/etc)..
Post 08 Mar 2009, 22:05
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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f0dder
drhowarddrfine: what are you on about? Usermode vs. Kernelmode works very much the same on *u*x and NT. (on x86, with "normal" operating systems) kernelmode means ring0, usermode means ring3. There's well-defined boundaries between the two, and you need admin privileges to go kernel-mode.

drhowarddrfine wrote:
Attacks against IE are more numerous because IE is part of the operating system. Firefox, and all other browsers, are not. If you get into IE, you are into the OS.
That statement, as comrade already pointed out, is utter bullshit. Exploiting IE gains you nothing more than exploiting any other usermode process. That IE has had more (and more serious) exploits than firefox is a completely different matter.

Once FireFox has a large enough base, malware authors will start targetting it more aggressively. Let's just hope exploitable bugs are found by the goodguys before the badguys... while I do belive FF is a better product than IE, I have no illusions that there aren't plenty of exploitable bugs in it atm.

IE7+ Protected Mode is a great idea, and I hope FF will adopt it. Why run with more privileges than you need? Unix daemons generally drop the privs they don't need, and NT processes can do the same (and have been able to do so for quuuuite a while, I'm not sure why UAC is needed to drop more. Perhaps to be able to drop just-about-everything, but be able to regain when necessary via UAC interaction? Sounds reasonable.)

Btw FF is just as vulnerable as IE when it comes to two very large attack vectors: flash and java. Perhaps even more, actually - iirc flash doesn't run as an external process, and should thus be covered by IE's protected mode. Java runs as an external process, but then again iirc it's the browser that starts it, so it could be covered by PM.

EDIT: yep, at least fore FireFox, flash is in a DLL, NPSWF32.dll, which is loaded (and unloaded!) on demand - so it's limited by the process constrains, unlike java which spawns java.exe.


Last edited by f0dder on 09 Mar 2009, 03:23; edited 2 times in total
Post 09 Mar 2009, 02:51
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
f0dder: You forgot about JS. That is also a big attack vector in browsers, perhaps even more so than Java.
Post 09 Mar 2009, 03:04
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Azu



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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Azu
Isn't JavaScript part of the browser, though? Java and Flash are separate programs, just like Firefox isn't part of Windows.


Last edited by Azu on 09 Mar 2009, 03:07; edited 1 time in total
Post 09 Mar 2009, 03:05
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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f0dder
revolution wrote:
f0dder: You forgot about JS. That is also a big attack vector in browsers, perhaps even more so than Java.
I didn't forget about it, but JavaScript is a part of the browser, and thus falls within the normal confines (and thus IE's Protected Mode).

I'm mostly worried about flaws that can lead to native code execution, even if other kinds of attacks can have nasty consequences as well.

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Post 09 Mar 2009, 03:07
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17278
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
f0dder wrote:
Once FireFox has a large enough base, malware authors will start targetting it more aggressively.
This sort of thing has also bothered me with the non-Windows OSes in general. If they become more widespread and ubiquitous then we will start finding out just how many insecurities exist in things like Linux and Unix etc.

Keep the user base small and the malware writers won't be too bothered to disturb you.
Post 09 Mar 2009, 03:14
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Azu



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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Azu
revolution wrote:
f0dder wrote:
Once FireFox has a large enough base, malware authors will start targetting it more aggressively.
This sort of thing has also bothered me with the non-Windows OSes in general. If they become more widespread and ubiquitous then we will start finding out just how many insecurities exist in things like Linux and Unix etc.

Keep the user base small and the malware writers won't be too bothered to disturb you.
Ya that must be it. Why hack Google, Paypal, etc when you can hack joe sixpack and steal his kiddie porn collection. Right. The reason *nix systems aren't being cracked to hell is definitely lack of motivation.

I mean who needs insane amounts of credit card numbers and user data when they can have porn instead, right?

Down with open source! Down with freedom! Down with progress!!
Post 09 Mar 2009, 03:18
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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f0dder
revolution: exactly Smile

Azu: the real blackhats keep knowledge of real nasty exploits to themselves. When there's few targets, it's more interesting to be able to break into specific machines than getting a few hundred extra machines for your zombie botnet - that's where you shotgun-target the machines with large userbase. Google, PayPal et cetera "probably" does a bit more security hardening than your regular joe sixpack linux user.

Set up NT running an unprivileged user, keep the default firewall enabled (possibly combined with a non-DMZ NAT'ing router), and grab FireFox+adblockplus+noscript... or at least Vista+UAC+IE7. That's going a long way towards security.
Post 09 Mar 2009, 03:29
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