Friday, January 2, 2009

Browser Security Handbook Made Public

Google has released its own take on the nature of browser security -- and the ways in which browsers lack it.
The Browser Security Handbook -- which apparently began life as a wiki -- begins with a historical look at what browsers do and how they do it, and builds from that foundation to a detailed and fairly technical look at security concerns, and an examination of the lack of consistency among browsers that, on the surface, appear to be doing the same things.
The text takes
Microsoft's Internet Explorer (6and 7), Mozilla's Firefox (2 and 3), Safari, Opera, as well as Google's own Chrome and its mobile browser, Android, and rates them against various tests and security concerns ranging from navigation to same-origin policies (rules regarding content loaded into the browser from sites other than the one currently being viewed) and plenty of in-between. Whether it’s a browser security issue or a computer security issue, contact us at 1 800 602 586, we will help you solve your problem online or by taking the remote of your computer.
As noted in a Google blog last month, the company's rationale for making the material public -- the implication is that some or even much of this was generated for internal use, although that's not completely clear from the brief introduction -- is to "capture the risks and security considerations present for general populace of users accessing the web with default browser settings in place."
As a baseline, this is a good thing, but as the Handbook's author, Michal Zalweski notes, browsers, and particular their plug-ins and enhancements, are remarkably malleable, with many of user-added bells and whistles setting the stage for setting off (or failing to) alarm bells and whistles when they "interfere with existing features in non-obvious ways."
More on Google Chrome>>

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