EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.21.10

Microsoft’s Browser Ballot is Broken Again and Internet Explorer 8 is Critically Flawed

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 2:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Voter
Poor man’s ballot?

Summary: Microsoft makes it difficult to install a Web browser other than its already-installed and already-flawed Internet Explorer 8

THE BROWSER BALLOT has already been through many changes since it was first introduced. Microsoft kept cheating or simply left some self-serving bugs in tact. We wrote about the subject in:

  1. Browser Ballot Critique
  2. Microsoft’s Fake “Choice” Campaign is Back
  3. Microsoft Claimed to be Cheating in Web Browsers Ballot
  4. Microsoft Loses Impact in the Web Despite Unfair Ballot Placements
  5. Given Choice, Customers Reject Microsoft
  6. Microsoft is Still Cheating in Browser Ballot — Claim

Rob Weir from IBM shows that Microsoft’s ballot, which it was forced to implement in order to avoid fines (a lot of the press still gets it wrong by characterising it as Microsoft fairness), is simply broken. See the screenshots in Weir’s blog as they are self explanatory.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Microsoft’s “browser choice” ballot page in Europe, which in its debut used a flawed algorithm when attempting to perform a “random shuffle” of the browser choices, a feature specifically called for in their agreement with the EU. This bug was fixed soon after it was reported. But I recently received an email from a correspondent going by the name “Skoon” who reported a more serious bug, but one that is seen only in the Polish-language translation of the ballot choice screen.

In other news, there is a major new flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8. [via]

The cross-site scripting filter that ships with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 browser can be abused by attackers to launch cross-site scripting attacks on websites and web pages that would otherwise be immune to this threat.

According to a presentation at this year’s Black Hat Europe conference, the issue introduces security problems at several high-profile websites, including Microsoft’s own Bing.com (screenshot), Google.com, Wikipedia.org, Twitter.com (screenshot) and just about any site that lets IE 8 users create profiles.

Yes, Microsoft’s browser is still lagging when it comes to security due to negligence and incompetence [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. But it’s not entirely surprising that while 4 governments encouraged their citizens to abandon Internet Explorer this year, the MSBBC continues to produce Microsoft adverts, including the many Internet Explorer endorsements that we find in the MSBBC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] on a regular basis (and occasionally report those for scrutiny). Our reader ThistleWeb has more to say about the MSBBC’s latest Infomercial:

I saw this promo piece in the BBC about the launch of Microsoft’s new Fix-it service and a few things spring to mind. The first is that Microsoft have a long track record of causing more problems than they fix when applying updates. They set Windows to download and apply all critical updates without user intervention. So when a user goes to shut down their PC they have no idea if they have to hang around for 15 mins so that Windows can apply it’s updates or not. Similarly they have no idea if those updates will cause a problem when they next start up their PC.

The second is that Microsoft have a history of abusing the term “critical” and slipping in programs like the Orwellian titled WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage). This was apparently a feature a large number of their customers were screaming out for and Microsoft being a listening, concerned company felt they had no choice but to provide; if you believe Micorosoft’s PR about it. WGA checks regularly if the copy of Windows it’s running on is licensed or unlicensed. If it deems that install of Windows to be unlicensed it causes no end of hassle for the user by disabling services, rebooting, nagware messages about “please contact Microsoft to buy a Windows product key”. It’s no advantage to customers, only to Microsoft. Yet this has been defined by Microsoft as a “critical” update. To me “critical” means “your PC is at immediate risk without this update”.

We have written about this before; in fact, Microsoft marks as “critical” anything that’s critical to Microsoft, not to the user. This is probably why one in two Windows PCs is still estimated to be a zombie.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  3. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  4. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  5. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  6. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  7. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  8. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  9. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  10. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  11. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  12. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  13. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  14. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  15. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  16. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  17. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  18. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  19. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  20. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  22. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  23. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  24. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  25. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  26. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  27. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money



  28. Links 12/5/2019: Linux 5.1.1, GDB 8.3, KStars 3.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Did Battistelli 'Steal' ~$100,000,000 Euros From the EPO?

    While enjoying diplomatic immunity the thug from CEIPI (who is back at the EPO as a jurist) passed millions if not billions (over the long run) in liabilities; this was done with total and inexcusable impunity, no effective oversight



  30. The Biased EPO Does Not Want to Hear From Anyone Except Those Who Pay the EPO

    The EPO's corruption and violations of the law are a threat to everyone in the world; the EPO only ever listens to those who pay for "access" or those who embrace the "religion" of the EPO


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts