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Re: Browser security was Re: MDKSA-2004:021 - Updated mozilla packages fix multiple vulnerabilities
From: Nick FitzGerald <nick () virus-l demon co uk>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 22:17:28 +1300

Gary Flynn <flynngn () jmu edu> wrote:

What I'd like to see personally is a right-click "temporarily
disable/enable risky functionality for this site" option so this
functionality can be turned on and off easily for those users
willing to put up with the discomfort of day to day web "browsing"
without scripts but not willing to put up with having to go
through three or more configuration screens for a temporary site
visit.  ...

Hear, hear!!

...  Yeah, I know, make it too easy and you get the email attachment
syndrome but I think the feature would overall encourage more people
to try browing in a safer default configuration than today's
mechanism.  ...

Or maybe not.

Regardless though, why make it so fricking difficult for those who _do_ 
want to use your browser "safely", rather than with some developer 
amalgam "convenient average" setting?

...  You fight human nature and you lose.  ...


...  It could always be
disabled by a master switch in an organizational policy. Shoot,
even security vendors make use of script on their web pages
and I think most of us would have to admit having to go to a site
requiring script and forgetting to turn it back off at least
once. :)

Of course, solving more or less the same problem set was the intended 
aim of IE's security zones.  The big problem there is MS never went to 
any trouble to make it at all clear to the user what the point was, 
never made it easy to drop a site into the "Trusted Sites" zone and, of 
course (we are talking about Redmond after all), defaulted "world plus 
dog" into the "Internet" zone with laughably pathetic security settings 
so "everything would work out of the box" (especailly all the 
inevitable security exploits) so no-one with less than a truckload of 
clue would ever have any motivation to even _think_ about the very 
important issues underlying it all...  (Kinda makes you wonder why they 
even bothered devising the secuirty zones from the outset and 
implementing all the infrastructure thereunder, but I'm sure the 
shipping configuration was yet another win for marketing over technical 

Nick FitzGerald
Computer Virus Consulting Ltd.
Ph/FAX: +64 3 3529854

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