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23 Jan 12 Consider security when choosing Web browsers


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Think of your browser as your window into Internet Web pages and applications. Which browser should you choose, and what security measures should you take to protect your view?

The most popular browsers are Microsoft’s Windows Internet Explorer, Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Foxfire. Internet Explorer — preinstalled on all Windows machines — dominates with 40 percent of all users. But Chrome is coming on strong, according to StatCounter, a global Web analytics company. It reports that among those browsers’ latest versions, Chrome 15 edged past Internet Explorer 8 during November’s final week, taking 23.6 percent of the worldwide market compared with IE’s 23.5 percent.

People primarily try out a new browser for appearance and ease of use, but security should be a concern, too. Choosing the right one can help you surf more safely.

Look for these security features:

  • Sandboxing: If you use tabs instead of opening another window every time you visit a new site, sandboxing isolates each tab from the rest of your system. If one tab gets infected, crashes or runs a piece of harmful code, simply closing the affected tab kills the process and leaves the other tabs — and all parts of the system — untouched. Internet Explorer and Chrome use sandboxing; Firefox does not.
  • Plug-in security: Plug-ins are the small applications that run within your browser to enhance functionality, customize the user interface or let you play games. One of the most popular plug-ins is “AdBlock” (http://adblockplus.org/en/), which blocks annoying Web site ads, leaving only the content. From a hacker’s point of view, finding vulnerability in a plug-in is easier than attacking the whole browser. Each browser differs in the amount of access it allows plug-ins on your system. Chrome is the only one that doesn’t allow plug-ins to install software or run scripts without user interaction.
  • Just-in-time (JIT) hardening: Viewing a static page on the Internet isn’t a security risk, but many Web sites let users do stuff, from calculating mortgage payments to playing games or creating a spreadsheet. But if you allow a Web site to run code on your machine and stumble upon an infected site, BAM! Suddenly you’re hosting Season 7 of “Entourage” for Internet pirates in Denmark. While Chrome and Internet Explorer block this type of malicious code from running, Firefox does not.

Firefox lovers, don’t despair. With good anti-virus and anti-spyware protection and a little effort, you can make your browser safer than the default configuration. Firefox offers a plug-in called “HTTPS Everywhere” (www.eff.org/https-everywhere) that will let you browse more than 1,000 Web sites securely. Https encrypts Web site pages you see, so passwords, e-mails and other data you send and receive can’t be easily recreated by a hacker via the browser you’re using. Ironically, the security settings in Chrome and Internet Explorer block this plug-in.

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Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120123/BIZ/201230304/-1/NEWSMAP

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13 Dec 11 Google Chrome Tops List of Most Secure Browsers in Google-Commissioned Study


Browser Wars: Chrome vs IE9 vs Firefox

Google Chrome is the most secure browser in the world, according to a Google-commissioned study by Accuvant LABS.

You’ll can read the entire, deeply technical 100-page report, but we just wanted to point out Accuvant’s unusual benchmarking. Accuvant emphasized anti-exploitation techniques – for which Chrome is known after surviving several Pwn2Own hacking competitions – embedded in each browser. This is fundamentally different from other browser security comparisons that prioritize vulnerability report counts and URL blacklists.

“Accuvant LABS’ analysis is based on the premise that all software of sufficient complexity and an evolving code base will always have vulnerabilities,” it wrote. “Anti-exploitation technology can reduce or eliminate the severity of a single vulnerability or an entire class of exploits. Thus, the software with the best anti-exploitation technologies is likely to be the most resistant to attack and is the most crucial consideration in browser security.”

Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Mozilla Firefox came in second and third place. Accuvant only analyzed these three test subjects because of their browser share; citing W3Schools.com, Accuvant said these three browsers represent 93.4 percent of the market.

browser security

Chrome came out tops for its sandboxing (information isolating) techniques, which aim to mitigate potential exploits. Chrome uses a medium integrity broker process to manage its user interface and create low integrity processes. As a result, even if the rendering process was to be compromised, attackers would only have access to the current process and whatever is made available through the broker process IPC mechanism.  

IE, like Chrome, separates each tab or window you open, so that exploits in one tab won’t affect the other. Firefox hardly uses sandboxing at all, Accuvant said. 

Accuvant further criticized Mozilla Firefox’s anti-exploitation techniques because it lacked JIT hardening. 

JIT stands for Just-In-Time. It refers to code that is compiled on the fly and executed within the browser. JIT pages are easy prey for attackers, who simply convert JavaScript into malicious machine code that bypasses exploit mitigations such as Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP). Hardening this compiles JavaScript in an unpredictable way, making it harder for attackers to take control.  

A secure browser is a good first line of defense against online malware, but you can bolster your protection with any number of AV products. Most leading vendors offer free site reputation toolbars, like Norton Safe Web, McAfee SiteAdvisor, and BitDefender TrafficLight, which also come bundled in their respective security suites. M86 SecureBrowsing is a decent, free standalone product. 

Accuvant’s study never touched upon pre-loaded browser spyware either, only the ability for the sandbox to block out spyware. So don’t forget to check out PCMag’s guide to staying anonymous online.

For more from Sara, follow her on Twitter @sarapyin.

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/291610-google-chrome-tops-list-of-most-secure-browsers-in-google-commissioned-study

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12 Dec 11 Chrome is the most secure of the top three browsers


Even as Mozilla’s Firefox browser has been surrounded by uncertainty in recent weeks, Chrome seems to be having a very good month.

Not only did Google’s software officially surpass Firefox to assume the No. 2 position in market share last week, but today it was named the most secure of the top three browsers by security firm Accuvant.


“Both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement state-of-the-art anti-exploitation technologies, but Mozilla Firefox lags behind without JIT hardening,” the company explains in a 100-page study.

Chrome’s plug-in security and sandboxing architectures, meanwhile, are “implemented in a more thorough and comprehensive manner,” making it “the browser that is most secured against attack,” Accuvant says.

The study was commissioned by Google, but its results and the tools and data behind it are available online for inspection.

Internet Explorer at No. 2

Whereas many browser security comparisons focus on metrics such as vulnerability report counts and URL blacklists, Accuvant put its emphasis instead on anti-exploitation techniques.

On five key characteristics, for example–vulnerability patching, safe browsing API, sandboxing, JIT hardening, and plug-in architecture–Chrome offered a “first-rate implementation,” Accuvant found.

Internet Explorer came in second due to deficiencies in its implementation of sandboxing and JIT hardening, while Firefox came in last of the three for failing to implement those two key features altogether.

Faster Patches

Chrome was also the most frequently updated of the three browsers, Accuvant found, and it patched vulnerabilities most quickly, with an average patch time of just 53 days compared with Firefox’s 158 and Internet Explorer’s 214.

Accuvant analyzed the three browsers–which together account for more than 93 percent of the market, it says–while running in a Windows 7 environment.

The results of the study largely echo those from this year’s Pwn2Own hack event, from which Chrome emerged unscatched.

Top Choice for Security

I still think there are philosophical reasons for sticking with Firefox, and I don’t think it’s in danger of fading away, as some have suggested. Meanwhile, for the security-minded, there’s also BitBox, the security-enhanced version of Firefox I wrote about earlier this year.

Nevertheless, the more data emerges, the more it looks like–of the big three–Chrome is the top choice for security.

Article source: http://www.macworld.co.uk/digitallifestyle/news/index.cfm?newsid=3324324

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12 Dec 11 Accuvant crowns Chrome most secure browser over Firefox and IE


Even as Mozilla’s Firefox browser has been surrounded by uncertainty in recent weeks, Chrome seems to be having a very good month.

Not only did Google’s software officially surpass Firefox to assume the No. 2 position in market share last week, but today it was named the most secure of the top three browsers by security firm Accuvant.

“Both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement state-of-the-art anti-exploitation technologies, but Mozilla Firefox lags behind without JIT hardening,” the company explains in a 100-page study.

Chrome’s plug-in security and sandboxing architectures, meanwhile, are “implemented in a more thorough and comprehensive manner,” making it “the browser that is most secured against attack,” Accuvant says.

The study was commissioned by Google, but its results and the tools and data behind it are available online for inspection.

Internet Explorer at No. 2

Whereas many browser security comparisons focus on metrics such as vulnerability report counts and URL blacklists, Accuvant put its emphasis instead on anti-exploitation techniques.

On five key characteristics, for example – vulnerability patching, safe browsing API, sandboxing, JIT hardening, and plug-in architecture – Chrome offered a “first-rate implementation,” Accuvant found.

Internet Explorer came in second due to deficiencies in its implementation of sandboxing and JIT hardening, while Firefox came in last of the three for failing to implement those two key features altogether.

Faster patches

Chrome was also the most frequently updated of the three browsers, Accuvant found, and it patched vulnerabilities most quickly, with an average patch time of just 53 days compared with Firefox’s 158 and Internet Explorer’s 214.

Accuvant analyzed the three browsers – which together account for more than 93 percent of the market, it says – while running in a Windows 7 environment.

The results of the study largely echo those from this year’s Pwn2Own hack event, from which Chrome emerged unscatched.

Top choice for security

I still think there are philosophical reasons for sticking with Firefox, and I don’t think it’s in danger of fading away, as some have suggested. Meanwhile, for the security-minded, there’s also BitBox, the security-enhanced version of Firefox I wrote about earlier this year.

Nevertheless, the more data emerges, the more it looks like – of the big three – Chrome is the top choice for security.

Article source: http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/270/f/470440/s/1ae1fdc0/l/0Lnews0Btechworld0N0Cpersonal0Etech0C33245220Caccuvant0Ecrowns0Echrome0Emost0Esecure0Ebrowser0Eover0Efirefox0Eie0C0Dolo0Frss/story01.htm

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12 Dec 11 Google-Sponsored Study Touts Chrome Security


Firefox 8 Beta: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

A Google-commissioned study has come to the conclusion that Google Chrome is, or was at the point in time when tests were conducted, “the Web browser that is most secured against attack.”

Accuvant Labs, at Google’s behest, compared Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Rather than looking at vulnerability report counts and URL blacklists as ways to measure browser security, the company focused on account security architecture and anti-exploitation technology.

“[W]hile Google funded the research for this paper, Accuvant Labs was given a clear directive to provide readers with an objective understanding of relative browser security,” the security company says in its report.

Researcher Joshua Drake said in an email that Apple’s Safari browser wasn’t included because the study focused on the most widely used browsers today, citing statistics compiled by W3schools.com.

The versions tested were Chrome 12 and 13, Firefox 5.0.1, and Internet Explorer 9; tests were conducted in July, 2011, and do not reflect changes made since then.

[ Concerned about insider threats? Read How To Spot Malicious Insiders Before Data Theft. ]

Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer each implement forms of anti-exploitation technology, but Accuvant suggests Chrome’s protection methods are more complete than those used by the other two browser vendors. The firm says that Firefox falls short because doesn’t yet support JIT hardening.

JIT (just-in-time) engines in Web browsers take code that has to be interpreted, like JavaScript, and converts it in memory to native binary code for execution. When this code produces predictable patterns, an attacker may be able to identify those patterns and alter the code maliciously. JIT hardening provides a way to mitigate such threats.

As for Internet Explorer, Accuvant suggests that its plug-in security and sandboxing architecture are less comprehensive than Chrome’s.

Google is understandably pleased about Accuvant’s findings. “We built Chrome with security as one of the core tenets and continue to work actively with the top minds in the security community,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We believe that many of the security approaches we’ve integrated into Chrome help to set it apart.”

Johnathan Nightingale, Mozilla’s director of Firefox engineering, meanwhile says his company is proud of its reputation for security and that security remains a central priority for Firefox. “Firefox includes a broad array of technologies to eliminate or reduce security threats, from platform-level features like address space randomization to internal systems like our layout frame poisoning system,” he said in an email. “Sandboxing is a useful addition to that toolbox that we are investigating, but no technology is a silver bullet. We invest in security throughout the development process with internal and external code reviews, constant testing and analysis of running code, and rapid response to security issues when they emerge.”

Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Thomas Claburn

Read our report on how to guard your systems from a SQL attack. Download the report now. (Free registration required.)

Article source: http://informationweek.com/news/security/vulnerabilities/232300280

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11 Dec 11 Study Ranks Mozilla Firefox Third for Browser Security, Chrome First


Raise your hand if you’re running the most secure browser right now. Google Chrome users: Your arms are going to get tired. Internet Explorer users: You’re close, but you can safely put your arms down. But Mozilla Firefox users, no need to wave your arms like a student trying to get a teacher’s attention – according to a new browser security study from Accuvant, you don’t have much to brag about at all.

Accuvant’s study, released Friday, ranks the “big three” browsers in that order in terms of their overall security features: Chrome’s first, IE’s second, and Firefox is dragging along in third, with Accuvant rating four of the seven security features tested in Firefox either “unimplemented” or “ineffective.” To note, the study – while independently and objectively assessed, said Accuvant – was funded by Google.

As for the raw details, Accuvant’s study didn’t just focus on the sheer number of published vulnerabilities that a browser has at the time of testing. Rather, Accuvant presumed that a browser vulnerability is going to be exploited in some fashion by a third-party: The security testing, therefore, focused on the strength of a browser’s anti-exploitation measures after-the-fact – “the software with the best anti-exploitation technologies is likely to be the most resistant to attack and is the most crucial consideration in browser security,” Accuvant wrote.

While Google’s Chrome browser won the day in Accuvant’s research, the browser didn’t sail through with a perfect score. Accuvant noted that Chrome, along with the other two browsers in the test, failed to adequately offer up strong enough URL blacklisting to pass Accuvant’s examinations – a daily comparison of roughly 6,000 malware-related URLs against either Microsoft’s URL Reporting Service or Google’s Safe Browsing List.

“Gathering intelligence about malware URLs is generally performed by running honeypots and spamtraps, and harvesting URLs from malware captured in the wild. Since no authoritative source exists, it is likely that each organization gathering data is getting one part of the overall picture,” Accuvant wrote. “Based on Accuvant’s analysis, no party is performing this data collection comprehensively.”

That said, Chrome’s apparent excellence in sandboxing, plug-in security, JIT hardening, and Address Space Layout Randomization, among other features, was enough to win it top honors. But Mozilla isn’t letting Accuvant have the last word regarding the security of its browser.

“We invest in security throughout the development process with internal and external code reviews, constant testing and analysis of running code, and rapid response to security issues when they emerge. We’re proud of our reputation on security, and it remains a central priority for Firefox,” responded Jonathan Nightingale, director of Firefox engineering, in a statement to Forbes’ Andy Greenberg

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2397486,00.asp

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11 Dec 11 Study Ranks Mozilla Firefox Third for Browser Security, Chrome First


Raise your hand if you’re running the most secure browser right now. Google Chrome users: Your arms are going to get tired. Internet Explorer users: You’re close, but you can safely put your arms down. But Mozilla Firefox users, no need to wave your arms like a student trying to get a teacher’s attention – according to a new browser security study from Accuvant, you don’t have much to brag about at all.

Accuvant’s study, released Friday, ranks the “big three” browsers in that order in terms of their overall security features: Chrome’s first, IE’s second, and Firefox is dragging along in third, with Accuvant rating four of the seven security features tested in Firefox either “unimplemented” or “ineffective.” To note, the study – while independently and objectively assessed, said Accuvant – was funded by Google.

As for the raw details, Accuvant’s study didn’t just focus on the sheer number of published vulnerabilities that a browser has at the time of testing. Rather, Accuvant presumed that a browser vulnerability is going to be exploited in some fashion by a third-party: The security testing, therefore, focused on the strength of a browser’s anti-exploitation measures after-the-fact – “the software with the best anti-exploitation technologies is likely to be the most resistant to attack and is the most crucial consideration in browser security,” Accuvant wrote.

While Google’s Chrome browser won the day in Accuvant’s research, the browser didn’t sail through with a perfect score. Accuvant noted that Chrome, along with the other two browsers in the test, failed to adequately offer up strong enough URL blacklisting to pass Accuvant’s examinations – a daily comparison of roughly 6,000 malware-related URLs against either Microsoft’s URL Reporting Service or Google’s Safe Browsing List.

“Gathering intelligence about malware URLs is generally performed by running honeypots and spamtraps, and harvesting URLs from malware captured in the wild. Since no authoritative source exists, it is likely that each organization gathering data is getting one part of the overall picture,” Accuvant wrote. “Based on Accuvant’s analysis, no party is performing this data collection comprehensively.”

That said, Chrome’s apparent excellence in sandboxing, plug-in security, JIT hardening, and Address Space Layout Randomization, among other features, was enough to win it top honors. But Mozilla isn’t letting Accuvant have the last word regarding the security of its browser.

“We invest in security throughout the development process with internal and external code reviews, constant testing and analysis of running code, and rapid response to security issues when they emerge. We’re proud of our reputation on security, and it remains a central priority for Firefox,” responded Jonathan Nightingale, director of Firefox engineering, in a statement to Forbes’ Andy Greenberg

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2397486,00.asp?kc=PCRSS03069TX1K0001121

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10 Dec 11 Chrome Is Most Secure of the Top Three Browsers, Study Finds


Even as Mozilla’s Firefox browser has been surrounded by uncertainty in recent weeks, Chrome seems to be having a very good month.

Not only did Google’s software officially surpass Firefox to assume the No. 2 position in market share last week, but today it was named the most secure of the top three browsers by security firm Accuvant.

“Both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement state-of-the-art anti-exploitation technologies, but Mozilla Firefox lags behind without JIT hardening,” the company explains in a 100-page study.

Chrome’s plug-in security and sandboxing architectures, meanwhile, are “implemented in a more thorough and comprehensive manner,” making it “the browser that is most secured against attack,” Accuvant says.

The study was commissioned by Google, but its results and the tools and data behind it are available online for inspection.

Internet Explorer at No. 2

Whereas many browser security comparisons focus on metrics such as vulnerability report counts and URL blacklists, Accuvant put its emphasis instead on anti-exploitation techniques.

On five key characteristics, for example–vulnerability patching, safe browsing API, sandboxing, JIT hardening, and plug-in architecture–Chrome offered a “first-rate implementation,” Accuvant found.

Internet Explorer came in second due to deficiencies in its implementation of sandboxing and JIT hardening, while Firefox came in last of the three for failing to implement those two key features altogether.

Faster Patches

Chrome was also the most frequently updated of the three browsers, Accuvant found, and it patched vulnerabilities most quickly, with an average patch time of just 53 days compared with Firefox’s 158 and Internet Explorer’s 214.

Accuvant analyzed the three browsers–which together account for more than 93 percent of the market, it says–while running in a Windows 7 environment.

The results of the study largely echo those from this year’s Pwn2Own hack event, from which Chrome emerged unscathed.

Top Choice for Security

I still think there are philosophical reasons for sticking with Firefox, and I don’t think it’s in danger of fading away, as some have suggested. Meanwhile, for the security-minded, there’s also BitBox, the security-enhanced version of Firefox I wrote about earlier this year.

Nevertheless, the more data emerges, the more it looks like–of the big three–Chrome is the top choice for security.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/245856/chrome_is_most_secure_of_the_top_three_browsers_study_finds.html

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09 Dec 11 Chrome sandboxing makes it the most secure browser, vendor study claims


A new study by security vendor Accuvant Labs concludes that Google Chrome is more secure than rivals Firefox and Internet Explorer, largely because of Chrome’s sandboxing and plug-in security.

The research was funded by Google, which might make any reasonable person suspicious of its conclusions. Accuvant insists that Google gave it “a clear directive to provide readers with an objective understanding of relative browser security” and that the conclusions in the paper “are those of Accuvant Labs, based on our independent data collection.” Accuvant also made the supporting data available as a separate download so that it can be scrutinized by other researchers.

Accuvant focused only on Chrome, IE and Firefox, leaving out Safari and others for the sake of time. It also tested the browsers only on Windows 7, 32-bit edition. Despite concluding research in July, the paper was just released today. As a result, the report excludes newer versions of Chrome and Firefox, which have more rapid release cycles than Internet Explorer.

But the 102-page report otherwise seems fairly thorough, and Accuvant says it will update the report as the security of each browser evolves, and claims that it already provides a better look at browser security than metrics such as vulnerability report counts and URL blacklists. “We believe an analysis of anti-exploitation techniques is the most effective way to compare security between browser vendors,” the report states. “This requires a greater depth of technical expertise than statistical analysis of CVEs, but it provides a more accurate window into the vulnerabilities of each browser.”

A chart summarizing Accuvant’s conclusions shows the vendor believes Google’s sandboxing and plug-in security exceeds that of Internet Explorer, and that Google at least matches Firefox and IE in other types of security. In this chart, DEP refers to data execution prevention, GS is a compiler switch used to prevent buffer overflows, ASLR stands for Address Space Layout Randomization, and JIT stands for “just in time” compilation, which is used to improve runtime performance.

“The URL blacklisting services offered by all three browsers will stop fewer attacks than will go undetected,” Accuvant states. “Both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement state-of-the-art anti-exploitation technologies, but Mozilla Firefox lags behind without JIT hardening. While both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement the same set of anti-exploitation technologies, Google Chrome’s plug-in security and sandboxing architectures are implemented in a more thorough and comprehensive manner. Therefore, we believe Google Chrome is the browser that is most secured against attack.”

Microsoft might point to a report from NSS Labs, which has found that Internet Explorer far exceeds its rivals in blocking malware. However, some of NSS Labs’ research has been funded by Microsoft.

The Accuvant report says Chrome’s sandboxing “uses a medium integrity broker process that manages the UI, creates low integrity processes and further restricts capabilities by using a limited token for a more comprehensive sandbox than the standard Windows low integrity mechanism… The extensive use of sandboxing limits both the available attack surface and potential severity of exploitation.”

Internet Explorer, by contrast, has processes that allow compromised tabs some ability to infect other tabs, Accuvant says. “In the event of a crash, the tab [in Internet Explorer] is automatically reloaded the first time, allowing malicious content multiple attempts to succeed, or have an unsuccessful exploit attempt go unnoticed,” Accuvant claims. “A tab compromised by an exploit would have read access to the file system and any low integrity process, including other browser tabs. The compromised process would need a method of privilege escalation from low integrity to persist beyond the browser session.”

With Firefox, Accuvant states, simply, that it has no sandboxing and “A compromised browser or plug-in process would not require privilege escalation to persist beyond the browser process.”

Google has long touted the robustness of its sandboxing, although security researchers have periodically found ways to subvert Chrome’s sandbox. Microsoft touts its own security and privacy features, as does Mozilla. The Register notes some anecdotal evidence supports the claim that Chrome is most secure, including the fact that “Chrome has emerged unscathed during the annual Pwn2Own hacker contest for three years in a row, something no other browser entered has done.” Ultimately, the question of which browser is safest is still up for debate. What do you think?

Article source: http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/12/chrome-sandboxing-makes-it-the-most-secure-browser-vendor-study-claims.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

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06 Nov 11 As Chrome inches ahead, Firefox slims down


Google’s Chrome browser is slowly but surely creeping up on Firefox in terms of market share, according to the latest Net Applications data, but Mozilla continues to tweak and polish Firefox with an ongoing series of new improvements.

The latest effort under way for Firefox is to dramatically shrink the amount of memory it requires, according to Mozilla developer Nicholas Nethercote.

“SpiderMonkey is on a diet,” wrote Nethercote in a blog post earlier this week, referring to Firefox’s JavaScript engine. “There’s an incredible amount of work being done on SpiderMonkey at the moment, and a lot of it will help reduce Firefox’s memory consumption.”

Indeed, though the changes may not be visible to users until Firefox 11 in several months, those and other related tweaks could result in a RAM footprint for the browser that’s only a third of its current size, according to a report on ExtremeTech.

‘It’s a Big Hairball’

Developers are changing numerous aspects of SpiderMonkey to achieve the desired slimmed-down effect. JSObjects, for instance, which represent objects, are being reduced in size from 40 bytes on 32-bit platforms and 72 bytes on 64-bit platforms to 16 bytes and 32 bytes, respectively, Nethercote explained.

TraceMonkey, meanwhile–which is SpiderMonkey’s original just-in-time (JIT) compiler, predating JägerMonkey– is being retired, he added.

“With the improvements that type inference made to JaegerMonkey, TraceMonkey simply isn’t needed any more,” Nethercote explained. “Furthermore, it’s a big hairball that few if any JS team members will be sad to say goodbye to.”

Then there’s IonMonkey, SpiderMonkey’s third JIT compiler, which is expected to generate code that’s both faster and smaller in size.

An Ever-Closer Race

Chrome rose from 16.20 percent of the desktop browser market in September to 17.62 percent in October, Net Applications reported this week, largely at the expense of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which fell from 54.39 to 52.63 percent. Firefox, meanwhile, increased from 22.48 percent in September to just 22.52 percent in October.

Memory consumption is just one of many improvements under way for Firefox, but it’s certainly an important one. I’m looking forward to seeing how much of a difference it makes.

Article source: http://www.cio.com.au/article/406348/chrome_inches_ahead_firefox_slims_down/?fp=4&fpid=4

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