Chrome crashes repeatedly = IE or FF?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by new2security, Oct 25, 2012.

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  1. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    Hi guys,

    Recently built a pc for my dad and he's pretty happy about the speed etc. Problem is Chrome not only crashes but freezes the entire computer when he visits certain Asian news sites. Happens 1-2 /day. I have tried configuring many things but can't find the problem.
    It's not a Javascript problem (tried disabling it), it's not a plugin-problem either. I've tried disabling GPU acceleration but that fails too.
    I've even downgraded nvidia drivers to see if problem persists.

    Memory diagnostic (W7 built-in) shows no errors, Prime95 blend with memory test is ok, 3dmark test is also ok so I figure it must be Chrome related. Perhaps a font rendering issue, but that shouldn't bring down the whole system...

    I have installed Firefox on his computer, + adblock plus, no script and disabled executions in his FF profile folder via the icacls trick, added FF in EMET and runs no flash plus use SRP and 1806 trick as well. Of course LUA.

    Now the question is : Should I permanently give him Firefox + Adblock + Noscript or IE 9?

    I don't like the fact that FF doesn't take advantage of Low Integrity and sandboxing but while IE in W7 does and its tabs are sandboxed, I don't like the gazillions of active x stuff that runs unless I disable them all - too much tinkering.

    Thanks.
     
  2. encus

    encus Registered Member

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    Well, I personally recommend you Firefox because it is more secure and stable than IE.
     
  3. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    Stable, perhaps. More secure, no. Firefox has very little in the way of security by default. Add a few extensions and things change quite a bit. What I'm wondering about this particular issue is if the poster is not running into simply poorly built websites or possible attempts to exploit the browser. If it wasn't happening anywhere else but a handful of these Asian news websites, I'd first point the finger at the websites rather than Chrome.
     
  4. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    I agree FF's security is lacking compared to Chrome or IE*.
    (*it can be made secure but it takes a lot of tinkering, just to disable java addons demands much more manual configuration than in FF or Chrome)

    I think you're correct when you say some sites are poorly built, and perhaps prone to crash your browser but when he uses FF or IE, he hasn't complained of a browser or system freeze. If a Chrome tab would crash I wouldn't consider it a problem. But when the whole system freezes and your keyboard is not responding to any input, I'm inclined to partly blame Chrome. Should be noted that ads are blocked in Chrome too. So, disabling javascript, ads, plug-ins, gpu rendering in Chrome still results in system freezes. In my eyes, that leaves bad html coding combined with certain Asian fonts that don't play well with Chrome and this combo render these crashes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  5. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    Have you tried reinstalling Chrome, I mean wiping it all out of there and starting it clean? (Making sure you not only kill the always lingering updater process but delete the .DLL file as well.) Chrome very well may be acting up because of a borked install. If that doesn't solve the issue, I'm inclined to blame the sites and whatever may be on it.
     
  6. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    I haven't but will give it a try. Thanks for the tip!

    The crash/freezing happens randomly. Also only when my father visits those sites. If I try to reproduce the crash nothing happens. The event viewer shows nothing particular, only a warning about kernel power etc. Not even a blue screen - if there were - there would be an error message to look dig deeper into. The screen just gets a blue hue, Chrome window on top, and freezes.
     
  7. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    Since 2007, I've been running Firefox without problems.
     
  8. encus

    encus Registered Member

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    I haven't encountered crash problem on Firefox like you guys had on Chrome so far. What I meant more secure regarding Firefox was if you really know what addons should be added (ABP, NoScript, etc).

    Thanks.
     
  9. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    I've rarely had any stability problems with FF either. But I believe security-wise, FF with all security addons enabled still lags behind Chrome since FF's tabs are not sandboxed or takes advantage of W7's built-in mandatory control (low/untrusted integrity levels etc) which really are cool features. :)
     
  10. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    Until recently I've used FF as my only browser and never had any security breach or problems. I think you can make your FF pretty secure but we are all paranoid at Wilder's, and there can only be one winner. :-D
     
  11. Get

    Get Registered Member

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    Using sandboxie isn't an option? Use sandboxed FF with the right addons is pretty perfect/bulletproof if you ask me.
     
  12. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    I want to use the OS's built-in security features as much as possible.
     
  13. Get

    Get Registered Member

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    Ok, in that case IE seems the only option.
     
  14. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    Perhaps so. But IE has too much crap to deactivate/remove etc.
    I will ponder a while and decide.
     
  15. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    What "crap" do you refer to? Plugins, addons (the few there are)? All plugins like PDF readers and Java are just as easily disabled as they are in Firefox and Chrome. You might run into a click or two more to get there, but the simplicity is the same. If you're overly concerned about security, remember that security has a lot more to do with how we act and what we do more than what features are present in what browser. Have you ever heard the acronym PEBKAC being used? That is a very good explanation of our current security issues today.

    Do a risk assessment, think about what your dad would be doing with his system before you start worrying about what has the best security. If you worry about security before you understand your personal risk, meaning not what malware is out there but your chances of coming across it, you're never going to be happy because some malware will show up on the internet as a POC and start making you doubt. I believe the term used around here is "Wilder's Syndrome"? Find out what your dad plans to do with his system then build around that risk factor.

    Browsers are the same, they get you from here to there no matter how fancied up they are (that would be a nicer term for bloat). Unless you're using something awful like IE6 or still manage to have a copy of Firefox 1, none of the current mainstream ones are any more dangerous to use than the other. Comments like "IE is more dangerous because it is targeted more" have nothing to do with the security of the browser and everything to do with the fact that for a long, long time the world used it. Every browser suffers that threat when they become "it".

    To make it short and sweet, find something you like and stick with it whether it be a browser, security program or whatever.
     
  16. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    Hi Mman, I was actually thinking about plugins in IE when I wrote "crap". In FF or Chrome, you just go to the plugin setting and disable the unwanted plugin with a single click.
    Take the omnipresent Java plugin for instance. In FF or Chrome, you just right click it with your mouse and disable it. The procedure to achieve the same result in IE does not only involve point-and-click gestures, you have to open up your Java settings in the Control Panel, as an administrator, and disable it from there. Or via the Registry. If you simply disable it via IE's plugin-manager, Java will still run.
    I've never heard of PEBKAC.

    I agree with what you wrote. But that's also why I am worried about my dad's PC security since he often visits Asian sites, and *.kr domains are known to spread malware for example via ads. How can I not feel paranoid.

    Perhaps you're right. While FF does not use sandboxing, it perhaps does not automatically mean it's much easier to hack than Chrome or IE. And IE + Chrome have their share of vulnerabilities. But why not use, at least in theory, the least vulnerable browser/software that is available out of the box? I admit I don't feel satisfied with simply keeping my software updated and use a firewall + some antivirus. I want the PC's I'm responsible for be built like a fortress. :argh:
     
  17. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    PEBKAC=Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair.

    If he doesn't need Java, I would just remove the thing entirely. It can always be downloaded again. Java might still run, but the plugin or applet, which is the cause of all the security concerns will not (If I remember right. I haven't used IE 9 in a while as Flash performs horribly on it for me.)

    For malicious ads, there's nothing better than ABP for both Chrome and Firefox. The weird thing with it is that depending on which browser you use, some of the lists are either not available or take more effort to find and use. But, it would solve the ad issue as there would be no ads. The nice thing is that there are also Asian-specific lists for it, and the Malware Domains list would likely prevent further trouble as well. The catch? To use these lists effectively or even access them, IE is out. The TPL available for IE doesn't cover near as much ground as the lists for Firefox/Chrome.

    For "fortress building", you need to think of him as well as you. You'll be handling the maintenance, he'll be the one using it every day. You load him up on too much security that will be throwing pop-ups at him or making him click too many things to get simple work done, and he's more likely to throw the thing at your head instead of hugging you and thanking you for keeping him safe.
     
  18. new2security

    new2security Registered Member

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    He uses an application that requires Java. :-O
    Adblock is activated in FF. In Chrome I could add the Asian filter list but seem I can't find it in FF/adblock.
    He also uses Norton DNS so that's another layer of security.
    Lemme see now : He has SRP, LUA, UAC, hardened cache and download folders, EMET, so yeah, using either FF or IE or Opera would _most likely_ be okay. At least for his needs.
    I haven't installed any real-time av/anti malware, just because I want him to hug me - I want his PC to be secure and non-obtrusive = e.g. "it just works". Once I set up my/his PC, it should be forgotten. No need to endlessly tinker with it.

    I think your posts helped me. :) Thanks.
     
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