Browser Saturday: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari Get Pwned, Opera Puts the Ball in Apple’s Court
By on March 27th, 2010

The big event this week on the browser security forefront is the Pwn2Own content, which challenges hackers to break through the defenses of top browsers and operating systems. As expected by most security experts, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari fell quite quickly. Chrome is the only browser still standing (sadly Opera was not included in the challenge). You can find more information about the exploits used by the winning participants over here.

Pwn2Own wasn’t the only thing happening in the browser-sphere. Here is a quick look at other major events from this week.

Internet Explorer

It’s been almost a month since the browser ballot screen went live. While it has definitely had a positive impact on the download rate of alternate browsers, there is still confusion regarding its effect on Internet Explorer’s dominance. According to Statcounter, Internet Explorer has managed to hold on to its market share. This suggests that a lot of users are in fact returning to Internet Explorer after checking out the alternatives. However, now QuantCast is reporting that Internet Explorer’s shares may have dipped by as much as 5% over the course of 3 weeks

Awhile, Microsoft is yet to patch the previously discussed critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6.0x and 7.0x. If you are still on older versions of IE, ensure that you have applied the suggested workarounds.

Firefox

Fennec-Firefox-Windows-Phone-Mobile This was an interesting week for Firefox. Following the German Government’s advisory, which warned surfers against using Firefox, Mozilla fast-tracked the release of Firefox 3.6.2 which fixed multiple security issues.

On the mobile space, Mozilla stopped development of Firefox (Fennec) for Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7. This decision was prompted by Microsoft’s refusal to release a NDK for Windows Phone 7, which made developing native applications impossible.

Chrome

Chrome-5-Auto-Fill-Form

This was a jolly good week for Google Chrome. It proved itself to be the most secure browser in the Pwn2Own contest, and now Google has pushed through Chrome Beta 5 for Windows. Chrome 5 introduces a host of new features including Windows 7 Taskbar Tabs and an intelligent form filler. V8 (JavaScript engine) has been refined even further and according to our preliminary tests, the new build of Chrome edges out Opera 10.51 for the title of the fastest browser in the world.

Earlier this week, Google also unveiled its new ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine) project, which will enhance Chrome’s graphics rendering capabilities across platforms.

Opera

Opera Software finally submitted Opera Mini for iPhone to the app store for approval. Whether Apple will approve it or not is a million dollar question. However, Opera has certainly played its part well and has succeeded in getting everyone’s attention. If Apple does reject this app, it will undoubtedly have to endure another wave of negative publicity and possibly even more (we already know that the FCC has been watching ever since the Google Voice saga).

On the desktop front, Opera continued its aggressive release cycle. Opera 10.51 for Windows fixed a couple of highly critical security vulnerabilities along with a host of bug fixes and all-around performance improvement. UNIX and MAC users also had plenty of snapshot builds to keep them busy. Click here to get the latest snapshot build for Windows, UNIX and Mac.

That is all I have for this week. Subscribe to our Feed to get instant updates through the week.

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Author: Pallab De Google Profile for Pallab De
Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .

Pallab De has written and can be contacted at pallab@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://www.commentbug.com Commentbug here

    opera is the best.

 
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