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April 2009

Web browsers remain vulnerable to user mistakes

Many security vendors have sung the same tune over the last couple of years: the browser is not only vulnerable, it's the front line of most cyberattacks. That message couldn't have been any clearer at this year's CanSecWest conference. Two researchers easily exploited zero-day flaws earning themselves thousands of dollars in prize money during a contest sponsored by TippingPoint's Zero-Day Initiative. It took the two young white-hat hackers only a few hours to uncover four critical vulnerabilities and break into systems running Apple Safari, Microsoft's newly released Internet Explorer 8 and Mozilla Firefox. "It's a game of cat-and-mouse and it's going to continue to be a game of cat-and-mouse no matter how many security features are put in," says John Strand, a senior security researcher with Black Hills Information Security. Just a day after one of the two hackers cracked a zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft released the browser to the public-- flaw and all. But security experts praised the new browser for its ...

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