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Windows 7: Will switching from Internet Explorer make you safer?

22 Jan 2010   #1
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 
Will switching from Internet Explorer make you safer?

Quote:
January 22nd, 2010

Will switching from Internet Explorer make you safer?

Posted by Ed Bott @ 3:47 am

The panic over this monthís wave of targeted, zero-day attacks against Google, Adobe, and other companies is over. Microsoft has released a security update for Internet Explorer that patches the underlying vulnerabilities, and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief.

But what does this episode say about Internet Explorer? Iíve seen several pundits argue that Internet Explorer is inherently unsafe. I think theyíre overreacting. Yes, there is a case to be made for using a different browser, especially one with a lower market share that is targeted less frequently than Internet Explorer. (And if youíre too impatient to read this entire post, then skip to the last page for that discussion.) But itís also true that switching browsers is a small part of a comprehensive, defense-in-depth security strategy.

One thingís for certain: Changing browsers isnít a magic bullet, and it might not have made a difference in this case, as I explain in this post.
Rest of 5 page blog at: Will switching from Internet Explorer make you safer? | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jan 2010   #2
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

I think if you use MSE, Malwarebytes, a good Firewall and most of all common sense,

you will be safe. Is IE8 less secure than some of the other, maybe so, but does not

make much difference if you use the above for security.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2010   #3
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

MSE, System Protect, and a good security sweeper you mean. I found Spyware Terminator found more then Malwarebytes but was also an annoyance like an intensive firewall prompting on every new process with the latest release of that program.

While keeping AVG 9.0 on the disabled list the new IE security bar actually does more to keep bugs from getting on in the first place while MSE detects after something gets on. That was seen with a new trojan lately with the security bar disabled. MSE sprang to life for removing the bogus version of a program.

IE 6 was actually the security nightmare for a browser seen there default in XP. Due to that many rushed right to FireFox assuming they were always going to be invulnerable? Not quite!

Quote:
Mozilla has issued multiple security updates for Firefox 3.5 addressing memory corruption vulnerabilities similar to those used in this case (two examples are here). Mozilla Security reported 34 Critical security advisories in 2009, defining Critical as those that “can be used to run attacker code and install software, requiring no user interaction beyond normal browsing.”
Even Mozilla with a popular browser runs into some problems. The popularity of the browser makes it a target for the novice malware writer while the pro after important things will look for openings like code flaws. I suspect Opera and at some point Chrome will likely be added on the list of "we got you there too" browsers.

In the case of that trojan that did get on here it was simply one less layer of added protection not active at the time with the security bar disabled. The irony of that was this happened during a seatch with the Bing search engine with a green check mark on the site clicked among the results! Nothing is ever 100% "safe"!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jan 2010   #4
Capella

Windows 7 64 bit build 7600
 
 

That issue only affected ie 6....The media always overreact. They generalized internet explorer with version 6. The issue is PRESENT in ie 8 but because of all the new security in ie 8, even if that was exploited, it wont damage your computer.
If you liked ie from before, don't change simply because of this
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2010   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If you are really worried, run in a sandbox - very easy. I think IE8 is one of the better browsers when it comes to security - at least that's what the experts say.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2010   #6
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

You still will want some sort of IE protection inplace regardless of the browser used. The speed at which the trojan was stuffed on the drive suggested that running across the same site with FireFox, Opera, Chrome would have likely been hit as well due to the way that was scripted.

Back when having XP on before IE 7 was even out I used to sick and tired of constantly cleaning off data minders and adbots mostly having tried out a large number of programs for that purpose. Despite some very vast improvements two version generations after IE 6 the XP Mode offers a sandbox approach and sees IE 8 there. I think that will become the new search engine here to avoid any more "unwanted pests"!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2010   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Night Hawk, why so difficult. Just do this:

Step1 - Download and install Sandboxie from here: http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?DownloadSandboxie
For 64bit go here and use the second link.

Step2 - Go into All Programs, click on Sandboxie and make a shortcut on the desktop from “Run webbrowser sandboxed” (you can also pin it to the Start menu, Quick launch or Taskbar).

Step3 - Launch your webbrowser with that shortcut. Now you are safe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2010   #8
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

But... Sandboxie - Register Sandboxie and that is the idea with the XP Mode without any lifetime membership fees due or still in beta form. I'm familiar with it however being an older program written originally for 2000/XP.

With the XP Mode or another VM program like Virtual Box you can always nuke a vhd easily if something gets on that. But there it is with the 32bit IE 8 running on it.


Attached Thumbnails
Will switching from Internet Explorer make you safer?-ie-sandbox.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2010   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hmm, I guess I should have a look at it. I use vBox - but on another (Vista) system. On this system I don't have enough space on C - only 40GB total (SSD).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2010   #10
pdaneophyte

windows xp
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
I think if you use MSE, Malwarebytes, a good Firewall and most of all common sense,

you will be safe. Is IE8 less secure than some of the other, maybe so, but does not

make much difference if you use the above for security.
It's not common sense that is needed, but caution & a healthy dose of suspicion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Will switching from Internet Explorer make you safer?




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