Category Archives: Internet Browsers

News and Information about Internet Browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Flock, Safari. Extensions, Add-ons, User Scripts, Tips and Tricks for all the Internet Browsers available today.

Adobe Flash Player and Google Chrome; Just Married

Adobe Flash and Google Chrome got close when Adobe announced the availability of Flash support on Google Chrome. Adobe Flash player will be available on future versions of Google Chrome by default and they will no longer require to download am extra third-party plugin for this.

Further, any update to the Flash player will be delivered as Chrome’s browser update eliminating all security issues.

This adds more security to the already secure Chrome browser. The latest update keeps out any hack attempts and does not annoy users for updates. The flash player can also be disabled easily.

In addition to this, Adobe is also working on a new browser API, which is built on top of the NPAPI of Firefox. The now API will help plugins to integrate more tightly with the host browser. This will also improve sandboxing and provide added security.

The Chromium blog has said,

Improving the traditional browser plug-in model will make it possible for plug-ins to be just as fast, stable, and secure as the browser’s HTML and JavaScript engines.

It is good to see Internet movers and shakers like Google, Adobe and Firefox work together towards a better web.
(Via: Neowin.net)

Emergency IE6 and IE7 Security Patch Will Be Released Tomorrow

Microsoft has released a security advisory which states that a emergency patch for a critical security hole in Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7 will be released on Tuesday, 30th March.

The vulnerability that exists in IE6 and IE7 is being active exploited by hackers and users computers are being infected. However, the vulnerability does not affected users of Internet Explorer 8 and .

The out-of-band security bulletin is a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer and will also contain fixes for privately reported vulnerabilities rated Critical on all versions of Internet Explorer that are not related to this attack.

Earlier this month, Microsoft had also released a workaround to fix this vulnerability, however, this is a proper patch. If you are using IE6 or IE7, it is highly advisable to download and install the patch.

You will find more information on the patch at the Official Microsoft Security Bulletin page.

Google Chrome 5 Beta Released For Windows

Google has been working on version 5 of for quite long now, in-fact the dev version of Chrome 5 was released late January. However it looks like Chrome 5 is now inching towards a mainstream release with the beta version of Chrome 5 now being made available for downloads.

Google Chrome Logo

The beta version has a lot of features including auto-translation, auto form filler, taskbar previews among others and also fixes some bugs. You can download the beat version of Google Chrome 5 for Windows by visiting this page.

Don’t forget to check out some excellent we have covered in the past to use with the browser.

Safe Surfing and Email with Web of Trust

wot-icon[Windows, Mac, Linux] Web of Trust (WOT) is an addon or extension that identifies risky or dangerous links and websites while you are using your web browser. This addon is available for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers. There is also a bookmarklet for Browsers such as Opera and Safari.

Here’s what the WOT website says about their product:

Protect yourself from online scams, sites with adult content, spam and other Internet threats. The WOT community has rated millions of websites so you can search, shop online and surf for fun without worrying.

When the WOT addon is installed in a web browser, it displays safety information about web sites in two different ways.

First, there will be a WOT icon at the top of the browser next to the address bar. It will be colored green, yellow or red to show you the general rating of the web page you are currently viewing.

wot-ratings

If you click on this icon, you’ll be able to see more details about the ratings.

wot-ratings-for-techiebuzz

The detailed ratings are broken down into four categories: Trustworthiness, Vendor Reliability, Privacy and Child Safety. As you can see, Techie Buzz is a winner in all four areas.

The second way that WOT displays it’s ratings is while you are searching at one of the popular web search engines. Ratings are shown for Google, Yahoo, Ask, Bing and Froogle.

wot-in-google

As you can see, there is a colored icon next to each search result. Clicking on the icons there also gives you more detailed information about each site. You won’t have to worry if it’s safe to click on search results once you have WOT installed.

Some online email services are also covered by the link identification from WOT. Here’s what my Gmail looks like in Firefox. This also seems to work in Yahoo Mail, Live Mail and AOL Mail.

wot-in-gmail

The WOT addon will make your online email far safer to use.

Downloads:

Download the WOT addons for Firefox, IE and Chrome

The WOT Bookmarklet for Opera and Safari

For those who don’t wish to install anything at all in their browser, I’ve found an online search engine which uses WOT to rate the search results.

Safe Search:

Try SurfCanyon’s WOT Search

Techie Buzz Verdict:

There are several other services that offer similar addons or toolbars to make surfing more safe. WOT is my favorite and it supports the widest range of web browsers.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5

Firefox 3.7 Pre Alpha: Looks vs. Speed

Another Firefox 3.7 Pre Alpha has released and it has a new set of nifty features which are intriguing but some missing improvements which were expected to be there by now.

The two issues I am discussing here are looks and speed.

firefox-minefield

Regarding looks, the latest pre-alpha developers preview has improved in terms of looks and features a new Aero support for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Moreover, it is not just the title bar which has the Aero look. The navigation and the bookmarks bar also have the glass look. Lee Mathews from DownloadSquad has written on this but has not found a about:config key to disable this yet. The glass effect works best with the default installation without any theme or persona. Read more at DOWNLOADSQUAD.

In matters of speed, OMG!Ubuntu has done a simple JavaScript benchmark. The results show that Firefox is still significantly slower than Google Chrome and Opera 10.5. Chrome still stands as the fastest browser with respect to JavaScript rendering beating Opera 10.5 closely.

It is time Firefox focuses on the important aspect, which is faster rendering of webpages. Eyecandy on Firefox has come a long way already and any further progress in this matter can wait.

The latest test build is available for download.

Google Chrome – The Last Browser Standing

The Hackathon is over and the only browser left standing is Google Chrome. This is the second consecutive year that Google has managed to leave the competition unscathed. In fact, according to TheNextWeb, this time around no one even attempted to hack Chrome.

Google obviously went into the competition well prepared. It fixed as many as 11 flaws just ahead of the competition. However, so did Apple, which recently pushed through 16 patches for Safari. Safari’s fall also proves that there is more to Google’s success than its lowly market share.

In fact, given that Google Chrome had managed to survive last year’s Pwn2Own, most people expected hackers to be gunning for it this time around. Google credits its sandboxingtechnique , which forces processes to run in a restricted environment, for Chrome’s success. While, sandboxing might be the key behind Chrome’s outstanding security track record, it definitely isn’t the sole contributor. Even Internet Explorer 8 utilizes sandboxing (Protected Mode), yet it fell quite easily.

Google-Chrome-Sandboxing

Google built Chrome from the ground up with focus on security and speed and their efforts are certainly paying off. It is the only major browser, which is yet to be surmounted in the Pwn2Own contest. That alone is a laudable feat.

Block Flash Animations in Google Chrome Browser

Today, I decided to look for a Flash blocking extension for the Chrome web browser. One of the web sites that I visit frequently had decided to add a very loud flash advertisement. I couldn’t turn it off or ignore it.

I went to the Chrome Extension Gallery and I found a very good flash blocking extension. It’s called FlashBlock.

flashblock-ext-gallery

Go here to install FlashBlock

How does it work?

Once installed, Flash animations will show as a grayed out icon in your browser window. To view them, just click on them once.

FlashBlocked

You’ll also see a little Flash icon up in the browser’s address bar. You can click on the little icon to add sites to a list of sites that you don’t want to block Flash on.

flashblock-allow

The Chrome web browser is now my default web browser. I made the decision based on speed and also on security. Take a look at Chinmoy’s post here about the Pwn2Own contest, in which Google Chrome was the only browser that was not hacked. Since Adobe Flash is a big source of security exploits, blocking all Flash by default is also a good security measure.

Are you using some other web browser?

You will be ready to surf faster and safer by using a Flash blocking addon. I’m guessing that you won’t miss Flash on most websites.

See also:

Browser Saturday: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari Get Pwned, Opera Puts the Ball in Apple’s Court

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.

Web Developer Extension for Google Chrome

Google Chrome provides a pretty decent set of developer tools out of the box. However, there is definite room for improvement. Web Developer is a new Chrome extension which tries to fill in the gaps.

Google-Chrome-Web-Developer-Extension

Web Developer is the official port of the Web Developer extension for Firefox. It is implemented through a simple toolbar button which provides quick access to a wide array of developer tools. There are simply too many options to list them all over here. However, it includes most of the stuff you would expect from a standard web developer toolbar including various validation options, page resize and hidden elements viewer.

The extension is still a work in progress and is not yet as feature-rich as its Firefox counter part. Some essential features like CSS Editing will be implemented in the future, while others like “Disable JavaScript” simply can’t be implemented due to limitations in the Google Chrome API.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Firebug is still the king of the hill when it comes to web developer tools. However, the Web Developer extension works quite well in tandem with Google Chrome Developer tools and forms a powerful duo. It is a neat tool which a web developer should have in his repertoire.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Good)

[ Download Web Developer Extension for Google Chrome ]

Pwn2Own Hackfest: Day One Déjà vu

The day one of Pwn2Own just got over and the results gave me a Déjà vu. Browsers started falling starting with Safari on Snow Leopard followed by Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3. The Safari hack was once again claimed by Charlie Miller, this time third year in a row. Peter Vreugdenhil broke into Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7 and both the Safari and Internet Explorer attack were carried out through remote malicious codes.

Firefox 3 was hacked on a 64 bit Windows 7 by Nils, who happens to be a German CS student. He is also a familiar face who had successfully hacked Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer at last year’s Pwn2Own.

In the midst of all this hacking and remote code execution, one browser which was left untouched was Google Chrome. Google Chrome was not even attempted to be hacked because of its sandboxed environment. Charlie Miller from last year’s Pwn2Own explains Google Chrome’s behavior saying,

There are bugs in Chrome but they’re very hard to exploit. I have a Chrome vulnerability right now but I don’t know how to exploit it. It’s really hard. They’ve got that sandbox model thats hard to get out of. With Chrome, it’s a combination of things — you can’t execute on the heap, the OS protections in Windows and the Sandbox.

The winners, that is, the successful hackers won a sum of $10,000 and the hacked system as prize. Even though Firefox and Internet Explorer applied security patches just before the starting of the hackfest, they did not get spared.
[Via: neowin ]