04.21.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  2. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  3. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  4. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  5. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  6. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  7. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  9. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  10. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  12. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  13. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  14. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  15. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  16. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  18. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  19. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  20. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  21. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  23. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  25. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  26. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  27. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  28. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  30. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission


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