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Apple® patches 62 bugs in Safari® update

Safari from Apple, is a graphical web browser, which is an inherent part of the Mac OS X operating system. Safari is principally the native browser in the iOS also. Safari was originally introduced in 2003 as a public beta version, slowly becoming the default browser in all Macs. The Microsoft Windows version of Safari was released in the year 2007. In the rankings of most widely used browsers in the US, Safari stands 4th in the line of following including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

After Safari 1.0 in 2003, Safari 2.0 in 2005, Safari 3.0 in 2007, Safari 4.0 in 2008, Safari 5 was released in mid 2010. Apple has brought about a very interesting change in browsing in Safari. Some of the interesting features include Bookmark Integration with the address book, Web Page Clips Saving to the Apple Dashboard, flexible search box in the tool bar for Google, Yahoo! or Bing, private browsing, support for HTML 5, support for Transport Layer Security, Document Object Model Inspector of Web Pages and many others.

Security vise the PWN2OWN contest of 2008, CanSecWest Security conference, in Vancouver, brought about the weaknesses in Safari. The Safari was the first to fall in the hacking competition with the successful exploit of the same, bringing the Mac OS as the first OS to fail. This flaw exposed by the contest was duly patched, taking care of other vulnerabilities also in the Safari 3.1.1 update.

PWN2OWN 2009 also brought about the fall of the Safari and Apple introduced the 3.2.3 patch to take care of the exploits. In the PWN2OWN 2010 contest, again the Safari fell first before the Internet Explorer, the iPhone, the Nokia and then the Mozilla Firefox. The 2011 PWN2OWN again, the Safari was the first to fall in the contest.

In fact, after the November 2010 patch of Safari, by Apple fixing 27 flaws, to the new version of the Safari was introduced only in June 2010, the Safari 5 saw its biggest update and patch recently. Apple introduced a new patch covering 62 bugs, just before the PWN2OWN contest vide Safari 5.0.4. This patch covered mainly vulnerabilities in the Webkit engine of the browser. For information the Webkit engine powers the Google Chrome also. Besides the Webkit vulnerabilities several non-security issues were also addressed.

Even if the Safari proved itself to be, about the fastest of browsers, and the prime choice of many a user, a French hacker managed to break the brand new Safari 5.0.4 in barely five seconds. The 5.0.4 update was released only a few minutes before the competition. The next to fall was the Internet Explorer 8. Although the contest predefined which versions of browsers were eligible to be tested at the contest, hackers have managed to break through even later versions of browser releases.

Safari® and Internet Explorer® hacked at Pwn2Own contest

Pwn2Own is a hacking contest sponsored by the HP Digital Vaccine Labs (HP DVL), which is a research organization specializing in the analysis of security vulnerabilities. The objective of the contest is to help vendors develop patches for better security, as well as filters for better customer protection. HP’s Converged Infrastructure focuses on advanced data protection in the integration of data center technologies towards improved flexibility and scalability, in the cloud computing world.

In a statement, Dan Holden, director of HP DVL, said that sponsoring the Pwn2Own contest for the fifth consecutive year enables HP to remain on the leading edge of the security industry. This helps them to offer clients unique protection against malicious attacks. This year, the Pwn2Own contest covered Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome as well as 4 mobile devices, including the Dell Venue Pro, Apple iPhone, Blackberry 9800 and Nexus S.

Interestingly the Pwn2Own contest, found its beginnings to challenge the fact that Apple’s products were immune to viruses and other computer attacks, way back in 2007. The CanSecWest computer security conference decided to host a hacking contest to prove that Apple products are also vulnerable. A cash prize of $10,000 was on offer plus a MacBook for any hacker who could break into a new fully patched MacBook. Vulnerabilities so found in this contest would be provided with all details to the manufacturer / vendor to develop the required security patches to take care of the same.

The 2008 contest had three targets – a MacBook Air running Leopard OS, a laptop running Windows Vista and a laptop running Ubuntu Linux. This time the MacBook and Windows Vista were hacked, keeping the Ubuntu intact. The 2009 contest had one more addition, namely the smartphones. Here, the Mac OS was exploited through both, Safari and Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer 8 on Windows Vista also, but the smartphones remained unaffected.

2010 saw Safari running Snow Leopard on the Mac fail, Mozilla Firefox on Windows 7 also failed, and Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) on Windows 7 was also exploited. The only browser that was not defeated was the Google Chrome. The iPhone again using Safari was also hacked. All this over the years proved that the Mac OS X, although being secure, is safer but not really any more secure than the Windows OS.

The 2011 Pwn2Own contest again saw the Apple Safari browser, and the IE 8, getting hacked. The Safari on a fully patched Mac OS X 10.6.6 MacBook was hacked. IE 8 on a 64-bit Windows 7 Service Pack 1 using three separate vulnerabilities also went down. The Google Chrome OS hacker scheduled to exploit the CR 48 Chrome OS Notebook did not show up at the venue.

In the smartphone category, the iPhone 4 and the RIM Blackberry Torch 9800 succumbed to the hackers’ onslaught. The contest seems to be an interesting venture – testing the hacker, providing the vulnerability to the manufacturer, and making the IT world more secure.

How to delete your usage history tracks in Windows®

Windows is the most used operating system in the world. In this post I will let you know how to erase your computer usage tracks so that others are not able to see what you work upon. Since Windows XP, a lot of emphasis was given to the computer security and two different Windows accounts cannot check other users without a password. But even in Windows XP, the Administrator can anytime log into your account and see all that you have done. You can easily avoid such situations by clearing your history once you are through with your work so that no one can trace your footprints. I will cover clearing history from the Internet browsers, clearing history of opened applications, and clearing history of the open files.

Clear history of browsers

This is quite simple and can be done in any browser. Given below are the steps for Internet Explorer.

Step 1: Click on ‘Start’ button and open the ‘Control Panel’.

Step 2: In ‘Control Panel’, open the icon named ‘Internet Options’.

Step 3: In ‘Internet Options’ window you will find a button named ‘Delete’ under the ‘General’ Tab.

Step 4: Click on the ‘Delete’ button and then select the items you want to clear from the history of Internet Explorer.

These actions will erase the said history logs from your browser and no one can now see what all you did on the browser.

Clear history of opened applications

Windows Vista and above have a default feature of maintaining a list of recently opened applications in the ‘Start’ Menu. You however can make the settings to either clear this listing or not to save the list at all.

Step 1: Right click on the taskbar in Windows Vista or above and then click on ‘Properties’ option from the context menu.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Start’ Menu in the taskbar and Start Menu Properties Window.

Step 3: Here in the Privacy box you will find two check boxes and the first one will be for storing and displaying the recently opened applications in the Start menu.

Step 4: You can uncheck the box and click on apply to clear the list and not store the history again. If you just wish to clear the history then check the box again and click on ‘Apply’.

Clear Recent Items List

In ‘Start’ menu there is a folder for saving a list of recently opened files. This can easily be cleaned by following the steps given below

Step 1: Open the ‘Start’ Menu and then right click on the ‘Recent Items’ option.

Step 2: Now click on ‘Clear Recent Items’ list in the context menu.

WinMate, Windows® System Optimizer

WinMate is a software package which is a must have tool to ensure the smooth functioning of your computer devoid of any hang-ups and system errors. WinMate is one such tool which comes as a freeware and ensures that your computer stays healthy. Users agree it’s safer to keep tabs on your computer’s performance to ensure that it will give you a good user experience. Those who download and install a lot of applications and software and also install software frequently will know that their system can start giving sluggish response and slow down. WinMate is an easy and robust solution to these and many more problems. It’s simple interface does not require much knowledge and skill to operate. All you have to do is install the software, run it and let it automatically diagnose the errors and problems and suggest remedial measures to recognize and identify the problems and then eliminate them. Each problem that the application finds has a particular solution for the user to manually start. Its problem solving capabilities also stretch to Windows Internet Explorer, one of its applications ‘IE Tools’ which is based on solving Internet Explorer related bugs and problems, it helps you to manage plug ins and add-ons to ensure a smooth Internet experience. It also helps to clear your online tracks and web surfing history. It clears your temporary Internet folders and cookies, and saved passwords and Cache to clear up and free occupied disk space. It contains an application for updating Windows regularly, a program manager to help remove applications that are not required, a system back up option to back up favorite files and drivers in case of a crash.

It come power packed with features like System Process Manager, Disk Immune, File Wipe, Shared Manager and many more.

The WinMate download site says about WinMate that it’s a way to improve your computer’s performance and to speed up your PC. It states most problems may probably start with improper Windows settings. They maintain that such errors should not be ignored. Otherwise, those errors with settings can make your computer a mess. WinMate is a freeware which incorporates the newest technology to scan your whole computer and find errors. After that, it gives you trusted solutions. In addition, WinMate presents a broad range of utilities and security software for computer optimizing. With top-rated elements, you can remain away from possible hazards and fix system errors to decrease computer collapses, freezing and blue screen. Winmate is free to download from its website.

Google™ Coming Up with WebM Plugins for Internet Explorer® and Safari®

Google has decided to make a change in its browser, that is, Chrome. The H.264 codec will replace it with the open WebMate code. That choice has raised many controversies and the company explained the reasons behind the adoption of WebMate in HTML 5. Mozilla Firefox and Opera intend to use open codecs like WebMate and Ogg Theora , without H.264 support, while Safari and Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) support it.

Google announced the availability of a plug-in for WebMate compatible browser, in this case Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari, which presumably will not support the new standard. In fact, Google explains, the plug-in WebMate is not exactly the same as Adobe Flash, but certainly not the standard specifications of HTML. The tag video of HTML5 attribute allows the browser to the choice of codecs available for rendering video content in a transparent manner to the same HTML5. Developers can continue to achieve their compliance with the standards as a possible add-on web-based WebMate will only add capacity to the browser in the context of what is permitted by the standard. The position taken by the Mountain View giant will certainly lead to reactions from the whole industry. Apple and Microsoft could change their mind and follow it.

Windows XP users Cautious over Internet Explorer bug

Microsoft confirmed the existence of an unpatched vulnerability in Windows. Internet Explorer vulnerability potentially allows an attacker to execute code remotely via the memory used by a CSS stylesheet. Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and 2008 are affected.

Microsoft confirmed the security flaw in late December. On Tuesday, it updated its advisory to reflect reports of limited attacks attempting to exploit vulnerability in all supported versions of Internet Explorer.

If successful, attacks can infect computers victims, and introduce malware to rob the machines, extracting information or enroll in botnet criminals. The vulnerability has been identified in the Graphics Rendering Engine in Windows, and especially in how it manages the thumbnails of files. In particular, it can be activated when the user views the file manager with a Windows folder with a sticker diverted, or when opening Office documents or view some. Microsoft, which acknowledged the bug in a security advisory, said that only Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 are affected by this vulnerability, but not the latest operating system Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

To reduce risk, Microsoft recommends in particular enabling Protected Mode Internet Explorer on Vista and later versions of Windows. Successful exploitation of the flaw is still possible, but the attacker will then have limited rights on the system vulnerable.

In addition to these configuration changes, Microsoft has developed an interim fix, a FixIt. On its website, the publisher said that the program adds a check to see if a style sheet cascade is about to be loaded recursively. If this is the case, the solution FixIt cancels the loading of the cascading style sheet. ”

The solution proposed by Microsoft is considered original since it relies on a utility (Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit) designed in principle to address application compatibility issues.

The real fix for the vulnerability in Internet Explorer should not be released until at best the next Patch Tuesday is to say, February 8. Indeed, patches of January have already been issued by Microsoft, and they do not take into account the latest Windows and IE vulnerabilities disclosed to the editor by researchers.

While Microsoft disclaims whether active attacks are conducted to take advantage of this loophole, that’s one more bug to add to a growing list of unpatched vulnerabilities, said Andrew Storms, director of security at nCircle Security. “There is already this huge bug” zero-day Internet Explorer “over this bug in WMI Active X on which Secunia has issued a warning on December 22. And now this bug is in image management. That’s a good year ahead for Microsoft … Two weeks ago, Microsoft confirmed that indeed a critical bug in IE. Michal Zalewski engineer in charge of security at Google say they have evidence that Chinese hackers were attacking another flaw in the same browser.

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Call Now: +1 833-522-1003