Posts Tagged ‘IE8’

IE8 just launched and immediately hacked

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The final code for the Internet Explorer 8 by Microsoft was introduced recently. This was hacked by a researcher from Germany in the PWN2OWN contest eventually winning $5000 and a Sony VIAO laptop. Nils is a student of computer science from Germany. He ruined into Sony in just a few minutes by taking benefit of an undisclosed weakness in the new Internet Explorer 8. Tipping point was the sponsor of this hacking contest. The laptop used by the researcher was running on the Microsoft internal build for the Windows 7. IE8 is the final version of Microsoft which can be used for Windows Vista, XP, as well as Server 2003 and 2008. It has been tagged as the final edition to their Windows 7. The version has not yet been unconfined to the public.
Microsoft conducted the hacking contest to find out the bug and deal with it. This has helped them to build a more secure and safe Internet Explorer which is hacker free. There are situations when some vulnerability arises during the product development which will obstruct the release of the product. Microsoft wanted to evaluate any vulnerability which existed in the new Internet Explorer 8. Tipping point has bought these vulnerabilities and its rights and has awarded a cash prize to the hacker who cracked IE8. This helps in knowing about the low points of the browser and makes the necessary changes. Microsoft was brought down to ground zero by the hacker who hacked through the product even before its release. Microsoft just watched how a researcher from Germany hacked through their system and went away winning a cash prize and a laptop. Nils only took five minutes to hack through the all new IE8. Tipping Point has handed over all the codes and details to the operation manager Mike Reavey of Microsoft Security Research Center. Reavey was at CanSecWest where the security conference of PWN2OWN was being held.
The code was taken back to the company and it has been filed as a bug. It is said to be a real winner story for Tipping Point as well as Microsoft who had the chance to interact with Nils and know more about the problem. The bug has been reproduced in the labs of Microsoft and they are working to make IE8 more foolproof. The vulnerability has not yet been confirmed by Microsoft. After the vulnerability will be confirmed, Microsoft has claimed to take necessary action to protect all its customers. It is said that the build which was used in the contest is not original RTW build that was released. Nils after successfully hacking the IE8 has moved to the Safari browser by Apple Inc and the Mozilla Firefox. He has successfully attacked both these codes which he created earlier. Nils gathered total prize money of $15,000 by hacking some of the popular internet browsers. The contest opened up new avenues for Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple to make their internet browsers foolproof.

You can uninstall IE8 in Windows7, says Microsoft

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 users would be able to remove IE 8 or Internet Explorer 8 including other applications from the OS. This ability of removing IE8 is revealed by some bloggers after they worked around the Windows 7 Built 7048, which is a post beta version which was leaked to file sharing sites on the internet. Mike Nash the vice president of Windows product management had declined to comment over the bloggers’ report and said that it is unfortunate that builds leak off thorough the web. However Jack Mayo, the group program manager from Windows team had acknowledged that the new OS would includes a wide list of applications and features that can actually be switched off.

Therefore in the Engineering Windows 7 blog entry Jack Mayo has listed the applications which can be switched off. These applications include Internet Explorer 8, Windows DVD maker, scan and fax, Windows Gadget platform, handwriting recognition, Windows Media player, Windows search, Windows Media Center and XPS Viewer services. He also explained that the files linked to these features and applications are not really deleted from the hard drive. When a features or application is deselected, it would also not be available for use. This means that the data and binary files are not loaded by the OS and so are not available to the user on the PC. These files are dramatic so that they can be back to the OS without wanting any extra media. The staging is important feedbacks received form the users who surely are not satisfied with the long process in DVD installation.

Jack Mayo also said that the APIs related to these applications are still supported by Windows 7 even when these features ore applications are disabled. However Jack Mayo did not provide any examples of what APIs would still be support when users switch off IE8, but most probably windows update which mainly relies on the web browser would stay functional. He also did not mention about the new antitrust charges of the European Union against Microsoft which the bloggers Bryant Zadegan and Chris Holmes quoted as the possible reason why the company had added the IE8 option.

The EU regulators had earlier claimed that Microsoft safeguards IE from its competition by bundling it with the Windows OS. The competition commission of EU said that among the possible solutions it might make the company cripple Internet Explorer if the user installs a rival browser like Chrome from Google or Firefox from Mozilla. Jonathan Todd the EU spokesman said that Microsoft can also be told to technically let users to disable Internet Explorer code in case the user chooses to install a competitive browser. Microsoft has declined to reply on whether the decision to let users remove IE8 is anyway linked to the EU case. However the option to remove IE8 is only available in the post beta builds and is also restricted to just a small group of people.