Exploring Internet Explorer 8 RC1 Security Features

Now that Internet Explorer 8 RC1 is available for download from Microsoft's servers, it is time to have a closer look at the security improvements that the company's programmers have integrated.

One of the main differences between IE7 and IE8 is the fact that the latter adopts a Chrome-like structure, also known as Loosely-Coupled IE or LCIE, which gives each tabs and its surrounding environment its own processes which in turn means more stability and less exposure to vulnerabilities. As in Google's Chrome, in theory, tabs that freeze or go berserk for some reasons won't bring down the whole browser.

IE8 also introduces Data Execution Prevention, a snazzy expression to describe a technique used to decrease the risk of hackers exploiting the all too famous buffer overflows which are often used for injecting malicious code. A more widespread adoption of DEP will help significantly reduce some forms of vulnerabilities.

Then there's also the private browsing mode, Inprivate, commonly known as Porn mode, which forbids the browser from recording any information, including searches or web page visits. Arguably, there will be no cookies stored but obviously extraneous data like your IP address would still be tracked. Google Chrome and Firefox already include this feature in their latest browsers.

IE8 also comes with anti-malware features like the SmartScreen filter, a Cross Site Scripting filter and Domain highlighting, all of which try to detect malicious code and attacks before the user actually reaches them.

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The Register also mentions that Internet Explorer 8 now comes with out of the box protection against the infamous clickjacking attack where visitors are conned into thinking that they are clicking on authentic links when in fact their actions have other effects.

Related Links

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 RC1 Improves Security

(Information Week)

Microsoft boasts 'out of box' IE8 clickjack protection

(The Register)

Microsoft Releases Porn Mode Onto IE8

(Direct Traffic Media)

New Internet Explorer 8 promises more safety, security and privacy


Microsoft Releases Security-Enhanced Internet Explorer 8

(Dark Reading)

IE8 Release Candidate 1 Has New Security Features

(CIO Today)

Microsoft's IE8 released for final testing

(SC Magazine)